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What To Do If A Bailiff Knocks On Your Door

What To Do If A Bailiff Knocks On Your Door
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When you have unpaid debts, life can be stressful enough. Having a substantial debt hanging over your head feels terrible, and it’s always in the back of your mind. Ignoring the letters from debt collectors won’t do you any good; in fact, they may cause a visit from the Bailiffs, otherwise known as Enforcement Agents. Here are the answers to a few commonly asked questions regarding Bailiff visits:

Why do Bailiffs Knock on Doors?

Bailiffs pay visits to people who owe debts to the court. This could mean anything from an unpaid parking ticket to a past-due tax bill, and everything in between. They’re only sent as a last resort, however; there will always be warnings in the form of letters in the post before the Bailiff comes around.  

How Can I be Sure They’re Really Bailiffs?

It’s important to remember that Bailiffs are required to identify themselves as such. You are allowed (and advised) to ask who they are, and you can request that they provide some ID if you’re still unsure. Unfortunately, sometimes other debt collectors pose as Bailiffs in order to gain entry to your home, so make sure you don’t skip this step. 

Can Bailiffs Force Entry?

Bailiffs are allowed to force entry, but only as a last resort, and only in certain cases. They’re not allowed to break your door down, but they can call a locksmith to open it for them if you don’t. Having unlocked doors is ill-advised if you’re expecting Bailiffs to pay you a visit, as they’re allowed to enter through them if you don’t answer. 

What Happens if I Can’t Pay the Bailiff?

If you choose to let the Bailiff in but cannot pay your debt, they are allowed to remove certain goods of value from your home. They cannot, however, remove items that belong to other people in the household, items that you need to survive (cooker, table, bedding, etc.), pets, or work tools/equipment worth less than £1,350. If the Bailiff takes something that you believe was inappropriate, you can file a complaint and your items will be returned.


Finding a solution to paying off debts is easier than most people think, and it’s much better than having Bailiffs knocking on your door. There are repayment plans available for most forms of debt, and assistance for people on benefits or that make a low income. If you’re unsure about your rights or how to go about dealing with Bailiffs, legal advice can help get you on the right track.

Zain Legal & Co can advise you on the best plan of action for your situation, whether you’ve already been visited by the Bailiffs or are still waiting for them to arrive. Book a free 15-minute consultation today, and we’ll help you through it.

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