Bailiffs

Learn what rights Enforcement Agents have when collecting Council Tax debt and how to stop action today.

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This Guide Includes

1. How do i stop Bailiff action?

2. Should i let a bailiff/enforcement agent inside my home?

3. At what stage can bailiffs/enforcement agents force entry?

4. What goods are bailiff/enforcement agents unable to take?

5. How do I stop bailiffs from visiting my home?

6. Get Help & Advice


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Bailiffs (also referred to as enforcement agents) may be authorised by local councils to visit your property to recover any outstanding debt. They are often used when individuals fail to pay their council tax payments on time. In most cases, the general public is unsure about their rights and what bailiffs can and can’t do. Here at Refresh Debt Services, we provide expert advice and guidance to help individuals and families deal with all council tax and enforcement related matters. Let’s take a look at what these enforcement agents can and can’t do.

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Is it okay to let a bailiff/enforcement agent inside my home?

If a bailiff visits your property, it isn’t recommended to allow them entry. In most cases, they do not have the power they say they do, it is important to know your rights. Unfortunately, they are not regulated on what they say but only on what they do. They can sometimes give you misleading information which is used as a scare tactic. it is important to remember that they’re unable to force entry into your home. If you invite them in, they can enter, this is not recommended. If you let them inside, they may list your possessions to claim as a way to offset any outstanding debt owed

If you need help stopping Bailiff enforcement action and are looking to set up an affordable, sustainable repayment plan, the experts at Refresh Debt Services will be happy to offer you FREE advice and can often even mediate on your behalf.

Call 0800 121 48 63 or complete the online form on this page to request a call-back for expert help and advice.

What if a bailiff/enforcement agent has already entered my property?

If you have previously allowed a bailiff to enter your property, this is classed as ‘peaceful entry’. This means that they are now permitted to enter at any point later on with a locksmith. If you do not want them to enter your home, think about the above before you open your door. With this in mind, remember that bailiffs are still able to seize goods that are outside your property e.g. your vehicle.

What if a bailiff/enforcement agent calls me?

You do not have to open your door to any bailiffs/enforcement agents. You can communicate with them with the chain on the door, or through a letterbox or window. Remember to prioritise protecting yourself before you consider any requests from these agents. It’s a good idea to speak to one of our specialist advisors if you’re unsure about any situation. We understand what rules and regulations apply and can help you determine what steps to take to resolve the situation. Call us today on 0800 121 48 63 or request a call-back by completing the form on this page.

At what stage can bailiffs/enforcement agents force entry?

Bailiffs are not actually allowed to force entry into your home in most cases, but in some scenarios, a ‘reasonable force’ rule may apply. If they have been granted a court order or have previously been allowed peaceful entry by you, the above rule can apply in this situation. However, this does not mean they can push past you or break your doors and windows.

Additional advice on Bailiffs

You may be confused about the difference between a bailiff and an enforcement agent, generally speaking, they are actually the same and carry out the same role. Recent changes have meant that they have been renamed as ‘enforcement agents’ and have received a more efficient and organised set of regulations to follow. The changes do not limit them on what they’re able and unable to do in regards to visiting your home. Instead, they are able to apply new fees at each different stage of the process.

Note: Bailiffs and Enforcement Agents are essentially the same and carry out the same duties.

In the past, when bailiffs took items from your property, they had the ability to apply a ‘levy charge’ as well as a ‘walking possession agreement’, which is required to be signed by an individual before they get the go ahead to rent a van, drive to your property and also charge you for doing so. Many considered the old fee structure to be very confusing, leading them to seek professional advice from Refresh Debt Services just for a breakdown and further clarification.

Fortunately, new guidelines have made the process much easier to understand.

Bailiff Enforcement Agent Fee Structure

Compliance Stage – You will be charged £75 once your case has been passed from a local authority (council) to a bailiff or enforcement agent.

Enforcement Stage – You will be charged £235 when a bailiff/enforcement agent visits your property, including an additional 7.5% for debts over £1,500.

Sale Stage – You will be charged £110 when an enforcement agent begins to remove goods from your property or prepares them for sale, including an additional 7.5% for debts over £1,500.

In addition to the new fee structure, there are a number of other stricter rules that now also apply. All enforcement agents must complete mandatory training, only visit someone’s property between 6am and 9pm, and not attend when children or vulnerable adults are the only people in the property. One of the biggest changes to take place applies to how much notice must be given. Individuals must be given seven days’ notice before an enforcement agent can visit the home, this will help reduce some worry for families struggling with council tax debt. If you do receive notification that a bailiff will be visiting your home, contact Refresh Debt Services today, our mediation team will be able to negotiate an affordable and sustainable repayment plan for you. Speak to an advisor today on 0800 121 48 63 or request a call-back by completing the form to the right.

If you would like additional information about the fees and charges that apply, contact us today for advice and guidance.

What goods are bailiff/enforcement agents unable to take?

There are some items that bailiffs are unable to take. They are only able to seize items that now belong to the debtor, and these goods must not be essential for everyday living and/or work. Items that they’re unable to take can include:
Goods on finance
Items that are owned by a third party
Home fixtures and fittings
Clothing
Bedding and essential household appliances (dishwasher, fridge, washing machine)
Items required for work
Children’s belongings (toys)

If any items do belong to a third party, you will be required to provide evidence of this. Even though there are restrictions on what goods bailiffs are able to take from your property to be sold, no matter what the impact, it can still be a very difficult situation to be in for most. If you would like further advice on how to avoid this, additional advice is available from Refresh Debt Services. We provide impartial advice and will find a solution that meets your needs. Speak to an advisor today on 0800 121 48 63 or complete the form to the right to request a call-back.

If you decide to pay the amount owed in full before or at the stage an enforcement agent visits your property, it will be unnecessary for goods to be taken if any outstanding balance has been cleared. If the items do not cover the debt, bailiffs can return at a later date. Once the enforcement notice has been given to take control of your goods, they have 12 months to do so. Remember, they should only take enough to cover the outstanding balance, and nothing more. If a bailiff has previously entered your home and you have hidden any listed goods or have moved them to another location, this may be classed as an offence.

Apply now by calling 0800 121 48 63 or complete our contact form on the right.

How do I stop bailiffs from visiting my home?

Ideally, you should attempt to arrange a repayment plan for any outstanding debt before any bailiff action takes place. If an enforcement agent has not yet visited or listed any of your items, you may be able to rearrange a payment plan directly with the council you owe money to.

Need help with this? Refresh Debt Services can mediate and negotiate an affordable and sustainable repayment plan for you, we can take additional steps for those on a low income or classed as vulnerable. Completing a quick income and expenditure sheet will help you identify what is affordable. If you do decide to arrange a repayment plan with a bailiff, remember to ask for a receipt for each payment you make.

If an enforcement agency is unable to collect any debt from you, the debt will then be passed back to the council. They will write to you to inform you that they are now taking committal action to recover this debt. If you’re unable to make payment in full, contact Refresh Debt Services for help with arranging an affordable repayment plan. If you decide to ignore these letters from the council, they may issue you with a committal summons, also adding further costs to your debt.

If your council tax debt has been passed back, contact your local council immediately to confirm any repayments you have been making, if they continue to refuse your offer, you will be required to attend a committal summons hearing. If this happens, remember to take evidence of any correspondence you’ve had with the council, bailiffs, and proof of payments you have previously made with you to the hearing.

Comprehensive advice and guidance is available from Refresh Debt Advice. If you need help with bailiff action and/or council tax debt, call us today on 0800 121 48 63

Enforcement agents have to follow set rules and procedures, if you believe that a bailiff has acted or behaved incorrectly at any stage throughout the process, you should contact the enforcement agency they work for directly via telephone and email. We also recommend contacting the council who use the services of that agency too. Remember to include specific dates and times of these events, and ensure you keep your own copy of any correspondence for your own reference.

If you are experiencing bailiff and council tax debt issues, contact us today. If you don’t equip yourself with the right knowledge and take incorrect action, subsequently, the situation can escalate very quickly. If an enforcement agent visits your home, fees can add up and it can be difficult to come to a suitable arrangement to clear any outstanding balance(s).

Need Help?

Speak to one of our expert advisors for further advice and guidance, we can negotiate an affordable and sustainable repayment plan for you.

Call now on 0800 121 48 63 or use the contact form on this page to request a call-back from one of our specialist advisors.

Reviews & Testimonials

Charlotte
2021-05-04
I really appreciate the support I was given regarding debt advice. I was provided with the upmost respect and there was no judgement at all. As difficult as it was to go through my situation, the advisors made me feel comfortable and were able to support me to find a solution to better manage my debts. A huge thank you to Jay and Keeley.
IB Whittaker
2021-04-28
I was in a really bad situation due to a sad divide between my family but when I came to Refresh Debt Services, my mind was almost at complete ease. Keith Brady in particular is a lovely advisor and does his utmost to not only help, but follow each step along the way with perfect understanding of each situation. Couldn't recommend this company enough.
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2021-04-28
Keith was great! constantly asked if I had any questions, made sure I understood everything, didn't rush me when I was getting information. Totally professional but also put me at ease and we even had a little joke. The weight of the world has been lifted off my shoulders. 100% recommend them.
Craig Newkland
2021-04-28
Very very good service and advice. People at Refresh are friendly, polite and knowledgeable. Would recommend to anyone.
Linda Harvey
2021-04-27
From the day i started my DMP the team have been more than helpful and respectful. Over the Last years i have had know reason to contact Refresh as i never had any issues with my payments ect. In the last week as my DMP has come to an end i needed advice and support with being able to show proof my DMP had come to and end and i now owe nothing, but also a huge weight lifted from my shoulders. Brenna my account manager was soo helpful and understanding and took her time to chat to me and send me all the info i had asked for. These people are not judgmental or insensitive, just helpful people trying to help you get back on track!! Thank you
jean roaach
2021-04-17
I found refresh very helpful when I was struggling with my debts. I received monthly statements and updates on what I was paying and when things changed and was only to happy to help with any problems I had all ways pleasant on the phone and understanding. Lucky enough I am debt free thanks to refresh would highly recommended them
Sarah
2021-04-15
Keith was so helpful! Made me feel very comfortable to talk to him about the help I needed. Would recommend anyone who is struggling to talk to him! Fantastic service! Couldn’t be more grateful of his time and help!
Carolyn
2021-04-03
Keith was absolutely brilliant. I was a victim of a sophisticated Bitcoin scam which has been largely responsible for my present financial predicament and I feel embarrassed and ashamed that I allowed this to happen to me.As a result I was really scared as I began to think that everything was fraudulent including Debt Management agencies. Right from the start I felt safe and reassured with Keith. He not only knew his stuff but validated my feelings and perceptions, was not at all judgemental and his concern and empathy were genuine with marked social, psychological and emotional intelligence and sensitivity. For the first time since I realised I had been scammed I could sleep. I felt protected and I still do. He would make a very good psychiatrist.
customer
2021-04-01
From the moment I spoke to Keith he put me at ease. He professionally took me through the possible steps, answering any questions that I had and his empathy and reassurance was very appreciated. Once I came to a final decision on what I needed Keith again answered any other questions and quickly put the plan into action. Honestly I had spent so many days/nights worrying about the debts once I had finished talking to Keith I felt like a huge weight was lifted from My shoulders!! I can’t thank Keith enough for taking the time to listen and then implement the plan for me! 10/10
Zdenka Suchankova
2021-03-29
Its a very friendly staff, just 5:45 I wait for next phone call and now its a5:50 and nobody call me. Something wrong?

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