Section 8 must now include details of Breathing Space scheme

Section 8 must now include details of Breathing Space scheme

9:52 AM, 4th May 2021, About 3 years ago 15

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Rushed changes made to evictions legislation have meant from today (May 4th) Section 8, and it has been advised all eviction procedures, must include details of the government’s ‘Breathing Space’ scheme or face the risk of the eviction being rejected. This is a debt respite scheme full details of which can be found if you Click Here.

Housing minister, Christopher Pincher, inserted an amendment into The Assured Tenancies and Agricultural Occupancies (Forms) (Moratorium Debt) (Consequential Amendment) (England) Regulations 2021 >>

There are two types of breathing space that a tenant may enter, a standard breathing space and a mental health crisis breathing space.

Creditors (landlords) are not allowed to contact tenants directly to request payment of the debt or take enforcement action to recover the debt (including by taking possession of a property) for a maximum of 60 days. For a mental health crisis breathing space, the Breathing Space only ends 30 days after the tenant’s treatment ends.

Debtors can only access a breathing space by seeking debt advice from a debt adviser. Anyone who cannot or is unlikely to be able to repay their debts can apply to a debt adviser for a standard breathing space. Although all applications must be considered, the debt adviser might decide a breathing space is not appropriate for a debtor.

The Breathing Space is designed to give debtors time to restructure their finances rather than rushing into even more costly loan arrangements. However, it has been indicated that a tenant should still pay their rent during this period.

Once a tenant has entered into a breathing space you must not until it has finished:

  • Contact the tenant directly in relation to the debt
  • Obtain a warrant in relation to the debt
  • Serve a notice seeking possession because of the debt
  • Sell on the debt to a third party
  • Charge interest on the debt over the period covered by the breathing space
  • Apply for a judgement in relation to the debt
  • Enforce an existing money judgement for the debt
  • Take control of the tenant’s belongings during the breathing space
  • Request third party deductions from Universal Credit or other benefits
  • Start bankruptcy proceedings

Tim Frome of Landlord Action said: “Anyone who serves a notice using the incorrect template runs the risk of having their case thrown out on a technicality. With six-month notice periods in place at the moment this could be a very expensive mistake.

“This further highlights why landlords should use a Solicitors Regulation Authority regulated and authorised law firm such as Landlord Action to serve possession notices.”

Contact Landlord Action

Specialists in tenant eviction and debt collection. Regulated by The Law Society.

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10:51 AM, 4th May 2021, About 3 years ago

Goodness me another, not so much a nail in the coffin but a B*%%"y great bolt! All they need now is a lock and key.
Its all one way from my point of view and has convinced me that there other ways of income without the "locked in" hassle that Landlords don't need.

LordOf TheManor

11:14 AM, 4th May 2021, About 3 years ago

* And the queue for an appointment to see a debt advisor is...... how long?
* Do debt advisors exist in large numbers?
* Did anyone in government do a head count of debt advisors prior to this legislation?
* Do debt advisors make home visits to those wanting help? If not, why not?


11:23 AM, 4th May 2021, About 3 years ago

I really struggle to see how this will work. Can a landlord use the same, similar type, scheme with their financial mortgage provides? How can a landlord operate without rental income? Does the government guarantee rental income to the landlord?

michelle green

11:25 AM, 4th May 2021, About 3 years ago

What a great shame the government wasn't as super quick to sort out the cladding scandal. After all, it's only four years on from Grenfell...


13:18 PM, 4th May 2021, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by michelle green at 04/05/2021 - 11:25
To be fair, and please imagine my tongue firmly lodged in my cheek, the UK government acted with much alacrity in legislating the amendments to the Fire Safety Bill which make innocent leaseholders responsible for all historical defects in the properties they bought and are now held captive in.
The enquiry into the Grenfell disaster is still ongoing at a cost of millions of pounds to the taxpayer.
The cladding issue is more than a scandal.
It's a human rights abuse.
Initiated and condoned by the Tories.


16:13 PM, 4th May 2021, About 3 years ago

Does this apply to S.8 cases already going through the court process e.g. Review already completed with no tenant participation?

Lee Bailey

15:25 PM, 5th May 2021, About 3 years ago

So a landlord could in good faith let a property and take one month rent in advance plus 5 weeks bond. Then a tenant could miss all rents thereafter and claim breathing space. After which they could be served 6 months notice. So after 8 months if they still refuse to leave, court papers could be filed. Given that It took me 5 months wait to get a hearing last time, that would be 13 months before a hearing.
Even if successful, it would still be another 2 or 3 months before bailiffs would be forcefully evicting.

So potentially around 15 months to evict via the legal method. At HUGE loss of rent before any legal costs. We landlords are bearing the cost of an underfunded legal system, poor council management, lack of employment. It falls on us.
What does government actually do for the UK? Nothing unless an election looms.

Dont people see that they are also forcing some landlords OUT of using the legal method for fear or financial ruin.

A local landlord told me that Legal Aid cannot be used for housing issues either so they have little to fear from their tenants, should they have to illegally evict them. Scary but some people will do that.

What on earth is happening in the UK.
What idiots keep making such dumb short sighted policies.

Reluctant Landlord

16:15 PM, 5th May 2021, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by NewYorkie at 04/05/2021 - 16:13
I doubt it. This stoopid addition can't be applied retrospectively as that really makes NO sense at all (not that it does now anyway)

Reluctant Landlord

18:11 PM, 5th May 2021, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Lee Bailey at 05/05/2021 - 15:25
Flip it the other way round...I'm wondering if a LL didn't go through this legal process (knowing the issues as you outline), just how many would look at other (quicker) methods to evict?

I agree, is it really in anyone's best interests to put a LL in the position of having to look at other methods to gain possession when there are so many factors against them doing so, even before the point of offering a TA in the first instance??
Bloody madness!

June Cook

9:10 AM, 8th May 2021, About 3 years ago

Could the breathing space not be funded by UC or Shelter. Could the tenants not be asked to get insurance as part of their tenancy agreement to insure against rental debt problems. What about all the money being held in deposit schemes being used to give loans for breathing space. There must be millions sitting in deposit schemes.

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