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Goods on lease or hire purchase

Goods belonging to the landlord or other members of the hosehold

Tools, books, vehicles and any other items of equipment that is needed for the debtor’s employment, business or vocation

Clothing, bedding, furniture, household equipment and provisions necessary for the basic need of the debtor or their family

Bailiffs Powers

Bailiffs have no formal powers to force initial entry or break open an outer door that is locked or bolted. The bailiff must enter PEACEABLY through an UNLOCKED DOOR or WINDOW. They may not open a closed window even if it is not locked.

Bailiffs cannot obtain a court order to gain entry

An occupier cannot be sent to prison merely for refusing entry to a bailiff

The police have no power to force entry on behalf of a bailiff or local authority

A householder is entitled to


Refuse entry to bailiffs


Use reasonable force to resist bailiffs who are unlawfully trying to push their way in

If a local authority gains a LIABILTY ORDER granting distress seek advice

Charging orders

This method of recovery is available if the debtor is owner/part owner of the property and the debt is at least £1,000 and is for the property that gave rise to the Council Tax arrears.

A charging order “mortgages” the property with the debt. If the debt is not paid the local authority may apply to the court for the property to be sold to pay the debt. This entitles the local authority to receive money from the sale after any charge with a higher priority has been met (such as mortgage lender debt).

In practice the court rarely orders the property to be sold.

Bankruptcy proceedings

If a LIABILITY ORDER has been issued a local authority can apply to bankrupt an individual or wind up a company (if they owe £750 or more) The court will make an order following a hearing and no other recovery action can be taken.

An individual facing bankruptcy proceedings should seek professional help as soon as possible.



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