How do I complain about a bailiff?
If you think a bailiff has broken the rules when dealing with you, there are different ways to complain, depending on the type of debt they’re collecting. In the first instance, send your complaint to the bailiff’s employer and a copy to the creditor. Read our guide to bailiff complaints
Can the police get involved with bailiffs?
The police can only help a bailiff do their job in very limited circumstances.
This is allowed if:
- The bailiff is enforcing a High Court writ of control
- The bailiff has applied to the court for a warrant to force entry, and the court has agreed that the police can help with this
The police can’t help the bailiff in any other circumstances.
The police may attend with a bailiff to make sure there’s no disturbance. They have to remain impartial and they can’t help the bailiff.
Once a bailiff has made a list of your goods and taken them into control, you can also be arrested if you hide, remove or deliberately damage any of these goods.
If you act in a threatening or aggressive manner you could be arrested. The bailiff could also be arrested if they act like this. You can also be arrested if you ‘obstruct’ a bailiff, for example by physically stopping them from removing goods.
You can’t be arrested for refusing entry to a bailiff if they’ve not already been in and made a list of goods.
Bailiff evictions and house repossession
When people are evicted from their homes following repossession, bailiffs are usually instructed by the county court to make sure the repossessed property is returned to the lender. An eviction notice will be sent by the bailiffs and anyone living in the property will be asked to leave.
In some cases the landlord can instruct High Court enforcement officers to carry out the eviction instead, but they must give notice of eviction, except when evicting trespassers.
Can I be contacted by bailiffs when I'm on an IVA?
If you receive any threatening debt enforcement action, such as from bailiffs or about a County Court judgment (CCJ), you should contact us or your IVA supervisor as soon as possible. Find out more about being contacted by creditors on an IVA.