Introduced on 4th May, the new Debt Respite Scheme, also known as ‘Breathing Space’, could have a significant impact on residential landlords considering possession proceedings to recoup rent arrears. So, what do registered providers (RPs) need to be aware of and what steps must they now take when considering bringing legal proceedings against tenants?
Implemented to give those facing debt problems protection from their creditors, the Debt Respite Scheme includes two types of Breathing Spaces; Standard Breathing Space and Mental Health Crisis Breathing Space. Standard Breathing Space is available to anyone with problem debt and provides an individual with legal protection from creditor action for up to 60 days. This includes most enforcement action being paused, the prevention of contact from creditors and the freezing of most interest charges on the debt.
The Mental Health Crisis Breathing Space is only available to a person receiving mental health crisis treatment, with protection lasting as long as the individual’s treatment lasts, plus 30 days after their treatment ends.
We live in difficult times. The rapid increase in energy prices forces good people into bad debt for necessities such as warmth and water. It seems that despite living in the age of great excess, many find themselves existing day-to-day – surviving Britain.
Heating or eating?
Recent studies indicate that food bank use has increased exponentially over the last 12 months, painfully revealing how miserably welfare benefits fail to cover basic living costs. Figures from the UK’s national food bank, the Trussel Trust show that in the year running up to March 2018, 1,332,952 three-day emergency food supplies were delivered to people in crisis across Britain. People can’t afford to eat, let alone make payment next time an over inflated heating bill lands on their mat.