There are a strict set of rules that bailiffs (who are sometimes also referred to as enforcement agents) have to follow, and which determine quite clearly where and when they are allowed to visit you.
That’s why, if you’re worried about a visit from the bailiffs, it’s well worth familiarising yourself with these strict rules, so that you can feel more confident of the limits of their demands.
Short answer: No. All bailiffs are obliged to send you a notification by post ahead of any visit. So, assuming that the person to whom you owe money has your current address on file, you will get a written warning in advance of a bailiff’s visit.
The key stages of any recovery action are as follows:
“Council Tax advisors have been so friendly, understanding and extremely helpful. Without their help I would still be having sleepless nights. They arranged on my behalf a payment plan I can afford”
A visit from the bailiffs can be alarming, and there are a lot of scare stories out there. But it’s worth remembering that bailiffs are visiting with a view to collecting a debt, and it’s usually also in their own best interests for the visit to be civil and constructive. As such, it is highly unusual for bailiffs to use force. It is usually the case that they can only enter peacefully through the front or back door, having ensured that:
Bailiffs are not allowed to:
The only exceptions to these rules, and indeed the only times bailiffs are allowed to consider using force (and even then usually only once a warrant to do so has been granted by a judge), are when they are pursuing criminal fines or taxes owed to HM Revenue & customs, or if you are in breach of a previously agreed controlled goods agreement.