A Bailiff's correct procedures
A Bailiff may visit your home if you don’t pay your debts.
This will happen if you ignore letters stating that Bailiffs will be taking actions.
Bailiffs must give you at least 7 days’ notice of their intended first visit by written warning [letter].
You can stop Bailiffs from visiting by paying the money you owe.
Talk to the person or business you owe money to as soon as possible to get advice on how to pay your debt.
Dealing with Bailiffs.
You don’t have to open your front door to a bailiff or let them in, unless you are a Tenant with a Warrant of Possession issued against you and the Bailiffs are at the door with such warrant.
Bailiffs can not force their way into your home - without a warrant of Possession.
However, if you don’t let them in or agree to pay them:
- Bailiffs can take things from outside your home - Your car.
- You will end up owing even more money.
If you do let Bailiffs into your premises, but don’t pay them, they may take some of your goods/belongings. They could sell the items to pay the debt and cover their fees.
The first things to ask a Bailiff at your front door:
- Enter your home if only children or vulnerable people are present.
- Enter your home between 21.00 and 06.00 hours
- Enter your home through anything except the door.
Paying a Bailiff
- To produce proof of their identity - Badge or ID card.
- To give precise details of all charges, fee's and future cost that may be incurred.
You can pay the Bailiff on the doorstep - You do not have to invite them into your home or Premises.
Make sure you get a receipt to prove that you have paid and by what method of payment.
If you can’t pay all the money at this time, speak to the bailiff about how you could pay the money back.
Offer to pay what you can realistically afford in weekly or monthly payments.
The bailiff doesn’t have to accept your offer.
Help or advice
You can get free help or advice on dealing with Bailiffs from:
What Bailiffs can and can’t take.
If you let a bailiff into your home, they may take some of your belongings to sell.
Bailiffs can take luxury items - TV or games console.
They can’t take:
- Your clothes, cooker, fridge, furniture or tools of your trade.
- Somebody else’s belongings - A partner’s computer or parents goods.
Although proof of such ownership in the form of a receipt will be require as proof.
What Bailiffs can charge:
Bailiff fees are fixed. In most cases, if you owe less than £1,500 the fees are:
- £75 when your case is sent to the bailiff
- £235 if you ignore a letter from bailiffs and they have to visit you
- £110 if they have to take your goods and sell them at auction
You’ll still have to pay the bailiff for any action they take against you - Storing your goods, porters fees and auction house commissions.
If you owe more than £1,500 you’ll also have to pay a percentage of your debt as an additional fee each time bailiffs visit your home.
You can challenge Bailiffs if you believe that they have charged you:
- The wrong fee or charged you for something they have not done.