Rules for clients in challenging circumstances
Bailiffs should follow extra rules about their behaviour when visiting the homes of people with further challenges who are referred to as ‘vulnerable clients’. This includes people living with a serious illness or disability, pregnant women, people dealing with a ‘life shock’ (such as bereavement or redundancy), those with communication issues and older people.
You should always let your creditor and the bailiff company know immediately if you’re ‘vulnerable’ in any way and complain if the bailiff hasn’t acted appropriately.
These rules mean bailiffs are not allowed to:
- Enter the property if only vulnerable adults or children under-16 are present
- Take medical equipment or vehicles used by someone with a disability
- Recover funds from a client who has been identified as vulnerable without giving them the opportunity to get assistance and advice
And bailiffs should:
- Provide communications in large print, Braille and other languages, where required
- Tell the creditor if the client has been identified as vulnerable
Bailiff complaints process
In all instances, send your complaint in writing and keep a copy. If posting your complaint, send it recorded delivery so you have a record of the date they received it.
- Send the complaint to the bailiff’s employer and a copy to the creditor they are collecting for
- If you’re unhappy with the response, escalate the complaint to a governing body, ombudsman or the court – see the list below
- We recommend you get legal advice before embarking on court action
If your complaint includes an allegation of criminal activity, you should contact the police. Get a crime number and include this information in your initial complaint to the bailiff company.