First figures for the government’s recently-introduced Breathing Space scheme which gives tenants greater protection from creditors including their landlords have been revealed.

Some 17,297 people registered for the scheme between May 4th this year when it launched and the end of July, latest figures from The Insolvency service show.

For individuals, the Breathing Space scheme gives people legal protections from their creditors for 60 days, with most interest and penalty charges frozen, and enforcement action halted.

Those with mental health problems are given protection for the duration of their crisis treatment, plus another 30 days afterwards – although the latest data shows only 199 people took this up.

Rent arrears

The Insolvency Service figures do not separate out whether the Breathing Space scheme applicants included rent arrears in their agreements, but Shelter has said in the past that it is likely to be one of the key reasons.

This is because during the pandemic many tenants are likely to have prioritised paying off other debt such as payday loans, council tax arrears, gas and electricity arrears and personal loans or overdrafts, rather than rent while the eviction ban was in place.

The figures have been included in the government’s latest insolvency statistics which, despite the economic downturn during the pandemic, reveal that personal debt relief orders and bankruptcies have been climbing in recent months but are still lower than before the pandemic.

The Insolvency Service says this is not because people have been struggling less during Covid, but rather – it claims – that the government’s increased benefits and other financial support packages have been working.

As LandlordZONE reported in May HM Treasury warned tenants that the Breathing Space scheme was ‘not a rent payment holiday‘.


  1. This scheme is just delaying the inevitable… Time things were put back to normal, start evicting non-payers and free up those properties for tenants that actually want to rent a home and are willing to pay for it.

    • Errr NO…

      No help whatsoever. HMRC view LL’s as investors and therefore do not qualify for any Covid help. That is what I was told both by HMRC and my accountant.

      Go bust, sign on the dole and end up chatting to your former tenants in the job centre… That is the harsh reality of life in the PRS.

  2. Lol, what a joke “the latest data shows only 199 people took this up”

    Pfft, little wonder, so why only 199?

    Perhaps because they knew it’s another tool in their box to help/continue fleece, not pay, drawing it out for even longer!

    With the recently introduced Breathing Space being time for landlords to accept that no rent is coming their way, practically legalising theft, who would have thought of it!!


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