What can bailiffs take from your home?
A bailiff looks for things you own to sell if you do not pay the debt.
They can only take goods that:
- They have access to
- They can remove
- They can physically touch
They cannot take goods into control by seeing them through your window or letterbox.
They look for anything they can sell easily for a good price at auction.
This is usually things like:
- Motor vehicles
- Electrical goods
They must leave you with basic household items
- White goods like:
- A cooker
- A microwave
- A fridge
- A washing machine
- A landline or mobile phone
- Beds and bedding for everyone in the house
- A dining table and enough chairs to seat everyone in the house
- Things that heat and light your house
- Medical or care equipment
What are bailiffs not allowed to take?
Some goods are protected and cannot be taken by a bailiff:
- Goods someone else owns
- They can take goods which you own jointly
- Pets and assistance dogs
- Things you need for your job or study like:
- Other equipment
- Up to a total value of £1,350
- Things you have on hire purchase, if the final payment has not been made
- Some bailiffs may argue that they can take a hire purchase car
- Fixtures in your property like:
- Kitchen units
- Fitted wardrobes
- Goods you are currently using like:
- A motor vehicle
- They can come back for these later
Can bailiffs enter your house when you are not there?
They can only do this if someone inside lets them in.
This is called making a ‘peaceable entry’.
It means bailiff either has:
- Your permission, or
- Has received authorisation to enter
For most types of debt, bailiffs can only enter the property when:
- Somebody is home
- That person is an adult
- They are not classed as vulnerable
Make sure all entrances are firmly locked when you are out.
Ask anyone you live with not to let bailiffs in when you are out.