Sometimes, no matter who you are or how you deal with your money, hard times can befall you and your family. When this happens, it’s incredibly common for people to fall behind on paying their council tax along with other debts they may have, and it’s possible that this will get to the point where bailiffs become a part of your world. Looking over for shoulder for that eventuality can be one of the worse experiences of one’s life, but there are ways in which you can avoid direct conflict with aggressive bailiffs often acting unlawfully.
The power of bailiffs when they come to collect is vastly overestimated by the majority of people they come into contact with but, by educating yourself about what they genuinely can and cannot do, you are arming yourself against increased distress and inconvenience. The first thing you need to do is prepare for the upcoming visit, which you should have been notified about at least 14 days previously, and this will help you avoid the surprise of having a determinedly aggressive bailiff arrive outside.
Once you have mentally prepared for the visit, you will be much more able to negotiate with the bailiffs calmly and with your facts up to scratch. When they arrive, for example, you don’t have to allow them access to your home at all as, in the majority of cases, they are not allowed to enter unless you allowed them to peacefully on a previous occasion. It’s a good idea to avoid allowing them through the front door (or any other door, for that matter) at all costs, and you can communicate with them through an upstairs window or your letter box.
This might sound a little extreme, but it ensures that they can’t enter your home unless they physically break down the door. Opening up to them will only serve as an invitation to those bailiffs who already don’t need much encouragement, and can be construed as allowing them to come in even if it’s the last thing you actually want. Once inside, you must make sure that the bailiffs do not take either essential items or items belonging to someone else (for which you will have to provide evidence) and, if they automatically start to take things from your home without first attempting to collect the actual debt, this is also against protocol.
Even if you are expecting a visit from bailiffs, there’s no need for things to get out of hand so long as you educate yourself on what your rights actually are. For advice and help dealing with council tax debt and bailiffs, contact our team today.