THE DEBT RESPITE SCHEME – 4th May 2021
The pandemic has had a huge impact on people, their finances and their mental health. The government have looked at this and are introducing from the 4th May 2021 ‘The Debt Respite Scheme’.
The respite is 60 days breathing space to help sort out the debts that have accumulated. The condition of this is that you must sign up with a debt advice provider authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
If you have a tenant who has fallen behind in their rent and is struggling to keep up with their arrears, then this may help them. As a landlord you will not be able to contact them about their arrears or serve any notices during the 60 days. They must provide proof of the debt advisor and the tenant must have been accepted under the scheme. You can of course still contact them for other things such as Gas Safety Certificates.
It is important to note that the tenant must still continue to pay their rent during the 60 days, the respite is there for them to work on a payment plan on their arrears. The tenant can only sign up to this once a year.
If you would like more details on this, then please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember a good agent is worth every penny when you know you can sleep peacefully at night.
When it comes to claiming on tenant deposits, Tenant Voice recently claimed 40% of tenancies are incorrect, which often will lead to not only the tenants being awarded in their favour but also resulting in landlords being out of pocket.
I have worked within the industry for over 30 years and owned Move On for 15 years. When you have been around for this long, there are rules we learn in books and training days, etc. and there are many things you learn through experience. I have got to where we have today due to the rigorous systems put in place. Those systems have been adapted over the years from experience.
It always fascinates me that no matter how diligent our systems and checklists are, when we recruit a new person, something else will slip through. It does not concern me too much because we just simply add it to our checklist. All our tenancies are triple-audited by three separate pairs of eyes, prior to paperwork going out to be signed. I have often had staff ask me: “Do we have to do so many checks?” and my answer is…
We are not perfect as humans, we are an extremely busy office and it is very easy to be distracted by a phone call or someone walking into the office, so triple-checking has to be done. To get a date wrong, a term wrong or have paperwork missing can result in the landlord not being able to claim through a rent guarantee warranty or in an eviction process as well as thousands of pounds of fines to the landlord and us as an agency.
Deposits not protected or incorrectly prescribed information will find the landlord out of pocket of up to 3 times the deposit plus the deposit back.
Renting out properties without the correct license will have the landlord not only fined/banned but also a rent repayment order of up to 12 months of rent.
There are many agents out there, please don’t go for the cheapest, go for the one that gives you confidence that they absolutely know the law! In the end, the cheapest never ends up being the cheapest when it goes wrong!
Remember a good letting agent is worth every penny when you know you can sleep peacefully at night.