What is the Debt Respite Scheme?
The Government’s new breathing space period will freeze interest, fees and enforcement for people in problem debt, with further protections for those in mental health crisis treatment and this will apply to any rent arrears owed by tenants to landlords in England.
A 60-day breathing space period will see enforcement action from creditors halted and interest frozen for people with problem debt. During this period, individuals will receive professional debt advice to find a long-term solution to their financial difficulties. As well as this, those receiving mental health crisis treatment will receive the same protections until their treatment is complete, in acknowledgement of the clear impact problem debt can have on wellbeing.
What does this mean if you are a tenant in rent arrears?
In the first instance, please contact your landlord (if your rental property is not managed by Ashington Page) or contact us if we manage your property or collect your rent on behalf of your landlord (ie. you pay the rent to Ashington Page). Thereafter, a breathing space can be started by:
- a debt advice provider who is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to offer debt counselling
- a local authority (where they provide debt advice to residents)
Debt advice providers are responsible for the administration of a breathing space. They are the point of contact for you, your landlord and us (if we are the appointed agent), and the Insolvency Service (who own and maintain the electronic service).
What does this mean to landlords who are owed rent?
You must stop all action related to that debt and apply the protections to your tenants for the specified period. These protections must stay in place until the breathing space ends.
The Debt Respite Scheme (Breathing Space) does not come into force until 4 May 2021
Find out more about the scheme on the link: Debt Respite Scheme