The NEW Debt Breathing Space Regulations

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. Quealy & Co estate and letting agents in Sittingbourne explore what you need to know as a residential landlord.

The Debt Respite Scheme (Breathing Space Moratorium and Mental Health Crisis Moratorium) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 (the "Regulations"), which were passed in November 2020 and came into force on 4 May 2021.

It has been introduced to help people with problem debt, including those facing mental health issues, to get their finances under control. There are two types of breathing space:

  • A standard breathing space is available to all debtors, including tenants, and gives them legal protections from their creditors, including their landlords, actions for up to 60 days. The protection also includes a stay on enforcement action including anyone who is jointly liable with the tenant i.e. joint tenants and prohibits contact from the landlord unless they have the permission of the court. Landlords are further not entitled to add any interest or charges, including legal costs, to the rental arrears.
  • A mental health crisis breathing space is only available to someone who is receiving mental health crisis treatment and it has some stronger protections. If an Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP) certifies that a person is receiving mental health crisis treatment, the AMHP’s evidence can be used by a debt adviser to start a mental health crisis breathing space. If a tenant obtains a mental health crisis breathing space then that lasts as long as the person's mental health crisis treatment, plus 30 days irrespective of how long the crisis treatment lasts.

Where a tenant obtains a breathing space then any rent arrears cannot be pursued in any way and any legal proceedings initiated based on those rent arrears must be put on hold during the term of the breathing space.   

Find out more

If you need more information on The Debt Breathing Space Regulations, please visit Alternatively, our expert lettings team at Quealy & Co are here to guide you as a landlord. Call us on 01795 429836 or email


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