New bailiff laws to crackdown on aggressive tactics

2 min Read Published: 08 Apr 2014

New bailiff lawsNew bailiff laws will crackdown on aggressive tactics

New sweeping changes to the way bailiffs can enforce debt repayments came into force on 6th April 2014 in England & Wales.

Why have the new bailiff laws been implemented?

  • The current laws relating to bailiffs are unclear and confusing
  • The confusion can result in bailiffs and enforcement officers misrepresenting their legal authority
  • There is also anecdotal evidence of bailiffs using excessive force to recover goods
  • Regulation of bailiffs is fragmented with some elements of the industry being tightly regulated while others are informally regulated through trade associations
  • There are currently no training standards

What is being implemented in the new bailiff laws?

  • Landlords will be banned from using bailiffs to seize property for residential rent debts without applying to a court first
  • Mandatory training and certification for bailiffs will be implemented
  • Ensure that vulnerable people are treated differently and given assistance
  • Introduction of clearer rules detailing when a bailiff can enter a property and what goods they can take
  • Restrictions will be applied on when bailiffs can sell goods
  • The new bailiff laws will require bailiffs to inform the court on the likely means of entry, the amount of force required before a warrant will be granted for forced entry
  • Require bailiffs to give seven days notice before taking possessions, unless they have specific permission from a court
  • Introduce fixed fees to end the ability for bailiffs to add excessive charges to the amount debtors have to pay
  • Stop bailiffs entering homes where only children are present
  • Bailiffs will only be able to attend premises between the hours of 6am and 9pm