County Court Bailiffs will find their jobs tougher in April 2014.
Rules changing their powers have been approved. The key changes will be:
- Bailiffs will not be able to enter homes when only children are present.
- Bailiffs will not be able to visit debtors at night as their hours will be restricted to between 6am and 9pm.
- Landlords will need to go to court before using bailiffs to distrain (take goods to pay off rent arrears).
- 7 days notice will need to be given before a bailiff takes control of the debtor’s items.
- Bailiffs will not be able to sell goods removed from a debtor until at least 7days have passed from taking the goods.
- It will be tougher to prove that the power to use reasonable force to gain entry is needed.
The minister confirming the changes stated that bailiffs (there are private bailiffs as well as County Court bailiffs) needed greater regulation but that those owed money should still be able to recover payment of debts fairly.
There a number of options to enforce a debt and the County Court bailiff can be a cheap and effective method of obtaining payment. It is very unpleasant to have the bailiff keep coming to a debtor’s house or business trying to obtain payment. There is no reason why you cannot use the bailiff and another method of enforcement at the same time.
By Small Claims Court Genie