Enforcement agents—entry and use of reasonable force
Produced in partnership with Victoria Jones
Enforcement agents—entry and use of reasonable force

The following Dispute Resolution guidance note Produced in partnership with Victoria Jones provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Enforcement agents—entry and use of reasonable force
  • Entering to take control of goods—entry and re-entry of premises
  • Entering to take control of goods—use of reasonable force
  • Entering to take control of goods—conduct of enforcement agent

This Practice Note concerns the use of enforcement agents to enter premises and take control of goods in order to sell them to discharge a judgment debt or commercial rent arrears (CRAR). The provisions came into force on 6 April 2014 pursuant to the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 (TCEA 2007), Part 3 and sch 12.

For a summary of the taking control of goods (TCG) regime, see: Taking control of the debtor's goods—overview.

For practical guidance on the overall process of taking control of goods under TCEA 2007, sch 12 to recover a judgment debt or commercial rent arrears under CRAR, see Practice Note: Taking control of goods—the schedule 12 TCG procedure.

There may be occasions, particularly for the debtor, where you want to be sure that the enforcement agent (bailiff or High Court Enforcement Officer (HCEO)) who enters to take control of goods has both the authority to enter the premises and the authority to use reasonable force to do so. This Practice Note summaries the relevant provisions.

Entering to take control of goods—entry and re-entry of premises

The enforcement agent may enter premises in order to search for and take control of goods:

  1. without a warrant—the enforcement agent may enter relevant premises (and on repeated occasions). Where entry is under CRAR then the only relevant premises are the premises