Q. My tenant is 10 months in arrears of rent and we have served an eviction notice. However, he tells me that he is going to apply for an order under the new ‘Breathing Space’ regulations so there is no point in my proceeding with my possession claim.
A. The Debt Respite Scheme (Breathing Space Moratorium and Mental Health Crisis Moratorium) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 came into force on 4 May. However, your tenant will only be entitled to a ‘breathing space’ order if this is approved by a registered debt advisor. It is not something he can do on his own.
If your tenant does consult a registered debt advisor who approves a breathing space order, then you will not be able to continue with the eviction. However, the order must provide for your tenant to pay the ongoing rent. It does not mean he gets off Scott free and does not have to pay anything!
There is also provision for creditors to apply for the order to end if it is unfair. However, it sounds as if your tenant may be trying it on. Unless, and until, your tenant has an order made in his favour, you can continue with your proceedings.
Q. I served a section 8 notice on my tenant the other day and he told me my notice was invalid as the form had changed. Is this correct?