High Court Enforcement: Gaining entry.
The Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2013 that came into effect on 6th April 2014 outline the ways in which the Enforcement Agent may gain entry to the relevant premises in order to ‘’take control of goods’.
The Enforcement Agent may climb a perimeter wall or fence to gain entry to the grounds of the property. They can then enter where a door is open. If the door is unlocked they are permitted to use the door handle to gain access. Under previous regulations they were allowed to gain access via an open window. This is no longer permitted.
If the Enforcement Agent is able to gain entry into the property he is then permitted to also break down the inner doors of the property to seek the goods of the debtor. The Enforcement Agent may not be forcibly ejected; however, if they are, they can now force re-entry back into the property.
They are permitted to force entry into a garage, or other outdoor buildings but only if those buildings are not physically attached to, or form any part of, the residence.
The regulations allow the Enforcement Agent can force entry to commercial premises to ‘take control of goods’. This does not apply however if the property is a residential dwelling.
Whilst the regulations do permit forced into the commercial premises it need to be mentioned that this exceptional method of gaining entry should only ever take place in cases where the Enforcement Agent has a genuine reason to believe that goods of the debtor are contained within. Accordingly, the Enforcement Agent should make reasonable enquiries beforehand (possibly by contacting the Landlord etc)
Note from Bailiff Advice Online:
A simple overview of the new Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2013 including details of fees that can be charged, notices that must be given by the bailiff and items that are ‘exempt’ can be read here.