What can a Bailiff take from my home

The Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2013 (which came into effect in 2014)  significantly changed the way in which bailiffs/enforcement agents can pursue debts (such as council tax arrears, unpaid parking charge notice, and unpaid magistrate court fines).The Regulations also list the items that are exempt from being taken into control by a bailiff.

It is most important to be aware that you are not under any legal obligation to allow a bailiff into your home. You can refuse to allow him into your home and in the vast majority of cases, this is what we would suggest.

Secondly, it is important to be aware that it is very rare indeed for goods to actually be removed with industry sources stating that goods are only removed in less than 0.5% of cases!!

In reality, it is the ‘threat’ of goods being removed that a bailiff relies upon for payment and whether this is right or wrong, the fact remains, that such a threat very often leads to payment being made (many times by borrowing from family or friends). It is of course much easier for a bailiff/enforcement agent to use the ‘threat’ of removal if you have previously allowed him into your home and a Controlled Goods Agreement signed. You need to take this into consideration if you are minded to allow him into your home.

The good news is that under the Taking Control of Goods Regulations there are far more items that are exempt from being taken into control by the bailiff.

Items that are exempt from being taken by a bailiff:

Items or equipment (for example, tools, books, telephones, computer equipment and vehicles) which are necessary and for use personally by the debtor in the debtor’s employment, business, trade, profession, study or education, except that in any case the aggregate value of the items or equipment to which this exemption is applied shall not exceed £1,350;

Clothes, beds, bedding, furniture, household equipment, items and provisions as are reasonably required to satisfy the basic domestic needs of the debtor and every member of the debtor’s household

Cooker or microwave, fridge, washing machine, dining table and dining chairs to seat the debtor and every member of the debtor’s household.

Land line telephone, or a mobile phone

Sufficient lighting and heating facilities

Medical equipment and items needed for the care of a child or elderly person.

Safety and security equipment, eg. burglar alarms, locks and CCTV system

Domestic pets and guide dogs

A vehicle displaying a valid disabled person’s badge, and used for the transportation needs of a disabled person.

Will the bailiff take my car?

Motor vehicles are always a problem. They are an attractive and valuable asset and are easy to identify given that in most cases, the car is parked on the individuals driveway and this means that the bailiff does not have to gain access into the property to seize goods.  Also, vehicles tend to raise significantly more at auction than household goods. Given the importance of a motor vehicle, and its value we have a separate page on this subject which can be read here.

Note from Bailiff Advice:

A simple overview of the Taking Control of Goods Regulations with details of the fees that can be charged and the notices that must be given by the bailiff can be read here.

If you have a query about bailiff enforcement or about goods that can be taken, you can email a question to Bailiff Advice using our very popular Question page. Alternatively, you can contact us by phone. Details are on our Contact page.