By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies to enhance your experience.
Graham Awards


Large number of tenants eligible for controversial Breathing Space - claim

A large number of private rental tenants may be eligible to take advantage of the new and controversial Breathing Space debt respite scheme.

That’s the view of a leading lawyer - Stephen Burke, senior associate with Taylor Wessing - who writes on a company blog that this may be frustrating for private landlords.

Since early May the Breathing Space concept, formally known as The Debt Respite Scheme, has given those with 'problem debt' the right to legal protections from being chased up by creditors. As this applies to the rental sector, it is likely to protect tenants from being chased up by landlords or their letting agents. 


There are two types of breathing space - a standard breathing space and a much more tightly-prescribed mental health crisis breathing space. 

Burke writes: “While the threshold required to qualify for a mental health crisis breathing space moratorium is high and therefore unlikely to be abused, there may be a large number of residential tenants who could be eligible for a standard breathing space moratorium as a result of the pandemic.”

He says that while this may be good news for tenants who believe they require more time to settle any rent arrears owed, it could simply be prolonging the inevitable for landlords.

“This is because it is likely to result in a delay to any process required to obtain possession of its property and/or recover some of the rent arrears owed” Burke states.

And he continues: “Landlords have already been affected by longer notice periods before being able to obtain possession of their property, a stay on possession proceedings and a ban on evictions. It is yet to be seen whether this additional measure will provide enough protection for tenants or simply result in a further hurdle for landlords.”



Landlord creditors will be notified if a tenant debtor has been granted a standard or mental health crisis breathing space; landlord creditors can then access the breathing space register which will confirm details about the tenant debtor, including how much is owed to the landlord creditor and when the moratorium starts and ends.

You can see the full blog from Stephen Burke here.

Want to comment on this story? If so...if any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals on any basis, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    Stephen is absolutely correct and Landlords have been aware of this from the outset.
    Just another Left-wing policy stolen by the Tories to keep their majority. ( screw business, or as Bojo said " F... them "

  • icon

    When a tenant tries this one on me I shall make sure that every landlord I know, and a good few that I don't, knows their full details.


    How you gonna do that then?


    John, strangely enough most of us landlords do talk to each other

  • icon

    When one of my tenants "doesn't pay" "but can pay".
    They will be given that same day to make rent payment and if they don't, there out, no excuses, no rent no property, very simple rule which All my tenants sign up to before the move in. Screw Labour, Screw Tories, Screw Liberals, Screw Shelter, Screw Council. I am the " best" landlord until tenants mucks me around, then they are history.

    Theodor Cable

    Fully agree.

  • icon

    Re Andrew/ Steve. This is our BEST weapon our networking with other landlords and agents. All tenants that behave like b*stards inc using the breathing space excuse let everyone in a 30 miles radius know about it with the proof pictures, videos, arrears statements etc. They will reap what they sow

  • Theodor Cable

    Love it.


Please login to comment

MovePal MovePal MovePal
sign up