The way in which debts can be enforcement by bailiffs was completely overhauled in 2014 with the introduction of the Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2014. Supporting legislation was also introduced at the same time to set the level of fees that can be charged etc. This particular page is  an introduction to the Taking Control of Goods Regulations.

Enforcement Agent Fees

It was also in 2014, that the Taking Control of Goods (Fees) Regulations 2014 came into effect. With the exception of  ‘writs of control’ (enforced via the High Court), the following fees apply to all debt types (council tax and non domestic rate arrears, penalty charge notices, unpaid Dart Charge,  magistrate court fines, rent arrears).

Stage 1: Compliance Stage Fee: £75

When an enforcement company receive a warrant from the creditor (local authority or court) they must by law send you a Notice of Enforcement. This notice must provide the date of the notice and the date and time by when full payment or a payment arrangement must be set up. This period of time is referred to as the ‘Compliance stage’. An enforcement agent must by law give you  a minimum period of seven ‘clear days’  before making a  personal visit to your property. The compliance fee of £75 is payable for each Liability Order or Warrant of Control.

Stage 2: Enforcement Stage fee: £235.00 (plus 7.5% of the value of the debt that exceeds £1,500)

If during the Compliance stage, full payment or a payment arrangement is not made or if a previous payment arrangement is broken, the case will progress to the ‘enforcement stage’. As a consequence, an individual enforcement agent/bailiff will make a personal visit to your property. The purpose of the visit would be to ‘take control’ of your goods. The enforcement fee of £235 becomes payable when the bailiff attends your property. It must not be charged before a visit takes place.

If the enforcement agent is enforcing more than one Liability Order or Warrant of Control, he should only charge one ‘enforcement stage’ fee (of £235). He should not apply ‘multiple’ enforcement fees.

Stage 3: Sale Stage Fee: £110.00 (plus 7.5% of the value of the debt that exceeds £1,500.00).

This fee can be charged when an Enforcement Agent actually attends your property and make preparations for the sale of your goods. If your goods are actually removed, additional disbursements may be charged.  The most significant disbursement being storage fees and where applicable;  locksmith fees.

NB: A more detailed description of the fees that may be charged can be be found in our Bailiff Fees section.

Forms and Documentation

An enforcement agency must use specific statutory notices when writing to you. All these notices are outlined in The Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2013.  Details of all the forms and the information that must by law be  provided on them can be viewed on this page.

Making a payment proposal with the bailiff company.

The Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2013 provides a strict period in which to make full payment or to negotiate a payment arrangement. This is called the ‘Compliance stage’ and begins with receipt of the Notice of Enforcement. You should be given a minimum of 7 ‘clear days’ in which to make full payment or agree a payment proposal. Failure to do so will lead to a personal visit being made to your home and an enforcement fee of £235 being incurred. If you are looking at making a payment proposal with a bailiff company, this page will assist you.

If you are considered vulnerable.

The Taking Control of Good Regulations 2014 provide some protection for people who may be considered vulnerable. For example, a vehicle displaying a disabled blue badge is exempt from being taken by a bailiff. Given the importance of vulnerability and bailiff enforcement, we have introduced this new page to our website.

Times of day when a Bailiff/ Enforcement Agent may visit.

A bailiff/enforcement agent may visit your property seven days a week (including Sunday) between 6am and 9pm.  He is not allowed  to visit you on Bank Holidays or Christmas Day.

Goods that are exempt from being taken by a bailiff.

In the first instance, it is very rare for an enforcement agent to actually remove goods from your property. Despite what you may see on TV programmes many household items are exempt from being taken by a bailiff. A detailed description of the exempt items can be read on this page.

Commentary from Bailiff Advice

If you have a question that you would like to ask us regarding any aspect of bailiff enforcement, you can email your question to Bailiff Advice in confidence using our online Enquiry Form.  Alternatively, you can contact our free helpline. Please see our Contact us page for further details.