What items can the Bailiff take from my business?

In 2014 the Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2013 came into effect and this significantly changed the way in which bailiffs/enforcement agents can pursue business rates (or National Non Domestic Rates (NNDR).

It is most important to be aware that you are not under any legal obligation to allow a bailiff into your business premises. However, if the business trades from a shop, office or warehouse etc the bailiff may gain entry into the premises very easily indeed through an unlocked door.

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!!

Sadly, it is the ‘threat’ of removal 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.

Unfortunately, the Taking Control of Goods Regulations does not provide a great deal of protection for business owners. In relation to business rates, the Taking Control of Goods regulation provide that only the following items will be considered ‘exempt’:

Items that are exempt by law 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;

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 may be parked at the business premises meaning that  the bailiff does not have to gain access into the property. 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:

As mentioned above, in 2014 the Taking Control of Goods regulations came into effect and we have provided a simple overview of the regulations with details of the fees that can be charged and the notices that must be given by the bailiff. A copy can be read here.

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