Crackdown on bailiffs using aggressive tactics
Changes to the way bailiffs can enforce debt repayments came into force last night in England and Wales.
With bailiffs estimated to collect around 4 million debts per year in the UK, by law they are now prevented from:
- Entering homes when only children are present,
- Taking household essentials (washing machines, etc),
- Adding excessive charges to the amount debtors pay (by introducing fixed fees).
The changes are part of a wider package of reforms to the Tribunals, Courts & Enforcement Act 2007.
The new rules also:
- Ban landlords from using bailiffs to seize property for residential rent debts without going to court first,
- Introduce mandatory training and certification for Bailiffs,
- Ensure vulnerable people get assistance and that Bailiffs are trained to recognise them,
- Introduce clearer rules detailing when a Bailiff can enter a property and what goods they can take,
- Bring in restrictions on when Bailiffs can sell goods,
- Require Bailiffs to tell the court the likely means of entry, goods involved and amount of force required before a warrant is granted to force entry, as well as provide details of how the premises will be left in a secure state afterwards,
- Force Bailiffs to give seven days’ notice before taking possessions, unless they have specific permission from a court.
Landlords/Agents; How will banning landlords from using bailiffs to seize property for residential rent debts affect you?
Bailiffs; what are your views on these reforms?
Tenants; have you ever experienced a Bailiff? What happened?
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