Bailiffs & Council Tax – Knowing What To Do


This article is regarding bailiffs who may call up trying to collect Council Taxation or Community Charge (Poll Tax) arrears. If a bailiff has contacted you to accumulate another debt, legislation might differ.

Council Taxation and Poll Tax usually are collected by private organizations of bailiffs on behalf of most councils. They try to period goods away and sell these people, usually at auction, to make money to pay the debt. The task they have to follow to say they desire your goods is called ‘distraining’ or ‘levying.’

From August 1998, bailiffs who call up must be “certificated.” This means they should have a certificate from the Local Court allowing them to act as bailiffs. You can complain to the Local Court about a certificated bailiff.

From April 1998, you need a letter from the Authorities telling you how much you owe and warning you that a bailiff will call if you do not spend the debt within 14 days. It will likewise tell you who to contact in the council if you have a query. Get in touch with the council and try to call and make an arrangement to pay immediately when you have enough money

. If the council confirms, they can stop bailiffs phoning out and save you further fees.



* SELDOM open the door to them while they may try to push before you. If they get on the inside, they have a right to enter yet again and may break in to take their goods.

* Don’t leave windows open or doorways unlocked – bailiffs may legally get in through these types. Bailiffs
CANNOT get law enforcement to help them break in.

* BE CAREFUL! Some bailiffs may make you a phone number and arrange in the future round to ‘have a chat. Don’t let them within, even if they say it’s just to use the toilet or create a phone call.

* Bailiffs MIGHT try to break into sheds, abri, greenhouses, etc ., even though this is illegal. KEEP VALUABLES SECURE! They may be able to take vehicles, motorbikes, and other vehicles left near your home.

* With good grace but firmly refuse to permit the bailiffs in. Offer the things you can afford to pay for. If the bailiffs accept your offer, request that they return to their car and go out and pay these individuals. Make sure you get a receipt.

WOULD NOT SIGN ANYTHING! If the bailiff leaves papers for you to warn and return, you do not have to. You don’t have to warn agreements posted through your doorstep either.


THIS IS CERTAINLY MORE SERIOUS. If you have let them inside before, then bailiffs have the right to return to your residence, and if you don’t be sure to let them in, they are allowed to get in.

* Contact the bailiffs immediately and offer to cover the debt in installments. Prove a copy of your funds so they can see you are offering approximately what you can afford. You will need to cure this as a priority debt as bailiffs could go back and take any things they have listed if you would not pay. Get a receipt for every payment you make.

* Get a hold of your council and ask them to do the debt back. Ask almost all Councillors for help.


There are some things that particular bailiffs are not allowed to consider at all, such as goods that can be rented or hired. The particular regulations also say that these items are exempt and cannot be taken:

* “Such equipment, books, vehicles and other components of equipment as are necessary for make use of personally in employment, small business or vocation.”

* “Such clothing, bedding, furniture, residence equipment and provisions like necessary for satisfying basic local needs of the person in addition to family.”

* This collection is not very specific, so you may find that bailiffs use a different idea of what products are necessary for you to keep and what can be taken. You can drone about what the bailiffs have if you feel the items should have been recently exempted.


The bailiffs can only have things that belong to you and goods which you and your lover jointly hold. If they want to take goods that will belong to someone else (your youngsters, partner, lodgers, etc . ), explain that the goods tend not to belong to you. If you can, show any receipt or note as proof. The owner of the goods might have to provide a sworn statement as a “statutory declaration” to state this is the case.
They cannot consider goods that are rented or perhaps hired. This includes goods for lease purchase agreements. Show them a duplicate of your credit agreement if you possibly can.


You could hide things or take the capsules elsewhere if the bailiffs haven’t yet been in. If the bailiffs seem to have been in, you are committing the offense if you remove things they said they would have. You can hide them with your premises, but the bailiffs can undoubtedly search for them.


If the bailiffs are distraining for Poll Tax and Council Tax, there are specific techniques that they have to follow. They must include the following: –

* prepared authorization from the council to help them to call. They should show you that if you ask.

They must give you a copy of the following: –

* The law shows their power and what they can and can not do. These are the “Enforcement

* The charges typically the bailiffs are allowed to make for every visit. You should check they also have not added too much to your debt. See the schedule all this fact sheet.

* just about any agreement you have agreed upon. This will be called a “Walking Possession” agreement and includes a report on goods the bailiffs get warned you they may acquire.


* You can make an arrangement to pay the debt again at a rate you can afford. You can offer the money directly to the actual bailiffs, although it is easier to obtain them to accept your provider if they have never been within your home. Always get an invoice for any money you spend.

* Bailiffs cannot mail to prison. If the bailiffs have never been into your house and they will not accept your offer, all they can perform is pass your debt returning to the council. It is essential to call and arrange to pay the authorities, or they may try other methods of recovering the money, such as taking money out of your salary or benefit.

* In case the bailiffs refuse your present, it is essential to put the money you could have offered aside so you can shell out it to the council when the debt is passed back to them. Write to the bailiffs and the council telling these people you are saving the money as the bailiffs have rejected to take your payments.

* In case you are on Income Support, Pension plan Credit, or Job Seeker Permitting, some councils’ have a plan for not using bailiffs and can accept an offer from you or even agree to accept direct repayments from your benefits. Ask your council if they are willing to make debt back from the bailiffs so you can pay them instantly.

* If the council will not help, then contact your nearby counselor and ask them to carry it up with the council for you. Explain what hardship you may be in if the bailiffs go to your home and take your stuff.


The Lord Chancellors Department has issued State Standards for Enforcement Providers. These good practice guidelines establish general rules for how bailiffs should behave and the exact procedures they should follow. You could mention these standards with your complaint, but the standards aren’t going to be enforceable by law. We can supply you with details of the standards, or they can be found at the Department to get Constitutional Affairs website [http://www.dca].
gov. UK/enforcement/agents02. htm

GET ADVICE FIRST. Bailiffs law is very complex, and perhaps if you think that what they succeeded in doing is unfair, they may be acting within the law.

* From October 1998, bailiffs must have a certificate provided by a court to collect Authorities Tax. A complaint of your mouth can help get the certificate taken. Ask your local County courtroom if they have a form for making any complaint. If not, write to the Court Manager with particulars. The Court will maintain a hearing and can stop the bailiff’s certificate, buy compensation, and order the goods returned. A bailiff can be fined for accumulating without a certificate.

* It is possible to complain to the Magistrates in The courtroom, and there have been cases just lately where the debt has effectively been written off to be able to prove that bailiffs have acted illegally. What they do is make a complaint and get a hearing. The judge can order a return with the goods or compensation.

* You should complain to the local authority or council as the bailiffs work as their agents. They can consult the bailiffs to look at your current complaint and change their particular procedures. If the council helps, you could talk to your regional councilor, who may be willing to address your complaint with the particular council.

* You can ask the area Government Ombudsman to look at your current complaint if the Council won’t help you.


You could be able to complain about bailiffs’ charges. The amounts allowed to charge for authorities tax and poll income tax are set out in the program on page 5. The volumes they are allowed to charge to get council tax are established on the next page of the schedule. There are lower rates for poll tax variety. These are shown in italics. If you feel you have been charged a lot, you can complain in writing to the Council and the bailiffs. You can ask the Nation Court to look at the charges in your case. See below. Phone you for advice.

You can find available what is ‘reasonable’ by making phone calls on a local basis. For instance, if you have been charged £80 to get attendance with a van, and native enquires indicate you could seek the services of a van for morning hours for £40, this is unreasonable, especially as it is most likely that bailiffs will be browsing several properties at once. Lots of companies own their vehicles.

In the first instance, complain to the bailiffs themselves. You can tell them you realize their charges are extreme and that you will be taking more action if the charges are generally not reduced to the levels proven in the schedule.

* You may then complain to the council because the bailiffs act as agents of the Council. Recent cases have been considered back in front of the Barrister Court over these issues, together with the result that the councils have already been forbidden to take any further healing period action, or in other words, your debt has been written off. Making it worth complaining about.

* You could apply to the County Judge for the costs to be inspected. This is called “Taxation.” Often the court can look at a new complaint within 12 months. To decide if the charges are increased or not. There is a fee to the court for this plan. If the court decides not to reduce the bill, at least even just the teens, you can be liable for the bailiff firm’s court costs. You will need legal advice first.

Read also: The reason Loan Modifications Aren’t Functioning