Are Bailiffs a good option?

Hi, so this has been going on for over a year now. Tenant did not pay rent for 4 months, he eventually left and to cut a long story short I have been chasing after the debt for a year now with no luck.
He owes 8k.
I tried the bankruptcy route which did not work, he ignored it and as you know it’s too expensive to pursue as I am going through a lawyer.
He has no property.
So I am thinking of bailiffs and wanted to know if it’s worth it for that amount. I heard stories of unsuccessful attempts where unsold goods sat in storage unsold and the landlord had to pay for all those costs.
He is married with a child and I also heard that they are not allowed to go into the property if there is a child, is that correct?
Basically my question is, is it worth it and approx how much would it cost me to go that route?
Thank you

Hi Tony,
They are not allowed to enter if there is a only a child or children under 16 home alone.
Sorry don’t know the answer to anything else.

A person with children CAN be evicted .Not only that but a court order stitches them up for a long time Great , such people usually deserve it


If he has no possessions of any value and is not employed on a regular salary, you would be wasting your time and money pursuing him for the debt at this stage. Make sure he has a CCJ and keep checking on his progress. Its possible he might just get a job somewhere in the future.

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Thats it stitch him up

In conjunction with your question I think bailiffs are not allowed to remove people’s work tools.
Would that include mobile phones and computers etc or do they count as work tools?
Just wondered out of interest.

It is a very painful exercise to deal with this situation. Get ready because it is a long process but you can do it without needing a lawyer.

The County Court Judgment (CCJ)

This is the first stage. You can’t use any of the enforcement procedures without getting a CCJ first. The order for possession will state the amount that the tenant is to pay back and if they flout this order you then have the right to make a claim through the small claims court the rent arrears and associated costs. If you successfully achieve the judgement then this will create the CCJ. A CCJ can, however, be useful just on its own. If one day your tenant wants to get a mortgage or bank loan they will find it difficult with a CCJ registered against their name. They may pay up later to get it removed.

The County Court Bailiffs
Here a bailiff will ‘levy execution’ on your tenants’ goods and then take them away to sell them if they don’t pay up. You get paid out of the proceeds of the sale.

This sounds good but there are several problems:

  • The bailiffs can’t enter the tenant’s property unless the tenant lets him in
  • He can only seize things which belong to the judgement debtor (tenant) – and not for example that flash telly on hire purchase or the posh car if it turns out to be leased
  • If the goods are taken to auction, you are responsible for the storage costs
  • You are also responsible for the auction costs
  • Things often fetch very low prices at the types of auctions bailiffs use
  • This means that you could end up substantially out of pocket if the sale price is less than the bailiff’s costs.

The High Court bailiffs

The High Court bailiffs can act for you if your CCJ is for more than their minimum amount and they tend to be a lot more efficient. What you really want to achieve by using the Bailiffs is to get the debtor to pay up to prevent their things being taken away and sold.

So, it’s best only to use this process (BAILIFFS) if you think your debtor will pay to prevent their items to be taken away, this is the best option.


Thank you for a very informative explanation, really appreciate it. I am living abroad so can I still go through the High Court online and do it on my own without a lawyer? I do have a CCJ. Actually I have had one since August 2019.

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