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

The following Dispute Resolution practice note produced in partnership with Victoria Jones of Freeths 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
  • Use of reasonable force—no prior authorisation required
  • Use of reasonable force—obtaining authority to do so
  • Entering to take control of goods—conduct of enforcement agent

Enforcement agents—entry and use of reasonable force

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.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): For guidance on the changes to the TCG regime and CRAR procedure as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, see Practice Note: Taking control of goods—legislative framework under TCEA 2007, Part 3—Coronavirus (COVID-19)—changes to the Taking Control of Goods Regulations and the Certification of Enforcement Agents Regulations. Note in particular the guidance ‘Working safely during COVID-19: enforcement agents (bailiffs)’ detailing how to work safely using the Taking Control of Goods process during the coronavirus pandemic. For further information, see: LNB News 21/07/2021 45—Coronavirus (COVID-19)—updated guidance for enforcement agents in England.

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

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