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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
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Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I have just received a sheriffs enforcement notice in my

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I have just received a sheriffs enforcement notice in my name - they say that I have to make arrangements to pay the debt within 14 days, which I am unable to do.
We are currently on benefits and I have claimed PIP as I am disabled.
My husband has a small business (currently running at a loss) and the only assets he has is a MAC computer (worth about £300) and a small inkjet printer (worth about £30).
I have two questions:
1 - When they attend the premises (which they will because I can't pay the debt) can they force entry?
2 - Can they take anything that belongs to my husband i.e. the computer and his car( car is only worth about £200-£300 anyway)

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

What is the debt for and how old is it please?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

The person who got the order against me I took to court last year for attempting to steal my business.

He lied throughout the case which I could not prove and the judge said that I should have issued against his limited company, and not him personally.

So the judge awarded costs against me - £5,000

OK thank you, ***** ***** it with me. I am in court for the rest of today so will prepare my advice in a while and get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Thank you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you, ***** ***** luck xx

No problem at all and many thanks.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Also I don't know if this i relevant :-

The judgement address was my then business address (I ceased to trade a week after the judgement).

The Enforcement address is my home address.

Are they allowed to come into my home since the judgement was at a different address

Hi sorry I forgot to check earlier - you state it is a sheriff's notice, are you based in Scotland (you posted your quesiton in our UK Law section but we have a Scots law section as well so just wanted to ensure it was in the correct category)?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

No in England. Basildon Essex xxx

Ok thanks for clarifying. So to answer your questions:

1. If bailiffs turn up then they cannot force entry. They can only make a peaceful entry so that is why you need to be careful not to open any doors to them as they can for example put their foot in the door once open. So whilst they cannot force their way into your premises, there are some exceptions to this, which are:

{C}a. when the bailiff is chasing up unpaid magistrates' court fines

{C}b. when the bailiff wants to enter your trade or business premises to chase up unpaid county court judgements (CCJs) ) or High court judgements

{C}c. if the bailiff has been given a court order allowing them to use reasonable force to enter your property to collect debts owed to HM Revenue and Customs

{C}d. when the bailiff has been given a court order allowing them use reasonable force to enter other premises where they believe you may have deliberately taken your belongings to stop them being seized.

2. If the debt is against the business alone, then if it is a limited company they can only take assets belonging to the business. However, if he was working as a sole trader he would be personally responsible for the debts of his business so they can also take his personal assets. If you do not want them to take assets that do not belong to him or the company then you can try and find proof that they do not belong to him, such as receipts.

In terms of the address they are trying to enforce against, they can potentially enter a different address if they believe there are assets that belong to him or the business there, subject to the rules on how they can enter these premises and if they are actually given access to them.

I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


The case was in the county court but the enforcement is from the high court. Can I still refuse them entry xxx

In the circumstances they can potentially force entry but if this is a domestic address rather than a business one they have limited rights to do so. As a site on the subject says:

“No one enforcing a judgment has the right to force entry into residential premises unless they have a signed walking possession agreement or were forcibly ejected. However, the HCEO or bailiff may climb a perimeter wall or fence to get into the grounds of the property. They can enter where a door is open, opening further to aid entry if required.

They may also use the door handle to gain access when the door is unlocked. Under the new regulations (Taking Control of Goods 2014), they may no longer gain access via a window.

Once inside, they can break down the inner doors of the property to find goods belonging to the defendant. They may not be forcibly ejected; however, if they are, they can now force re-entry back into the property. Also, once they have a signed Controlled Goods Agreement, they may also force entry, if necessary, on a return visit.

On a first visit, the HCEO or bailiff may force entry to a garage, out house, stables or barn providing it is not physically attached to, and form any part of, the residence”

If your original question has been answered I would be grateful if you could please quickly rate my answer by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page - it only takes a second to do and is an important part of our process. I can still answer follow up questions afterwards if needed. Thank you

Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

The attached PDF is a copy of the actual enforcement notice.

Please confirm that I am right in thinking they can not force entry into the domestic premises under this notice xxx

No they cannot force entry but remember that if a door is left open then that is not forcing entry and they can enter. Also they can take property outside of the house, such as a car parked on the drive

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you Ben - you are a star xxx

you are welcome