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If you owe money your creditor has various options to try and get their money back. Instructing the bailiffs to take your things away is one of these options.

How can they gain entry?

You generally don't have to let the bailiffs in to your home unless they've been in before. They're not usually allowed to force their way into your home and they can't get in:

  • By breaking a window or door
  • By pushing past you if you've opened the door but you make it clear you don’t want them to come in
  • By knocking down fences or gates
  • By opening a window which is not already partly open (even if it is unlocked)

When must I allow entry?

Sometimes, bailiffs are allowed to break in to your home, even if you don’t give them permission. This is the case when they:

  • are collecting unpaid fines
  • have gained peaceful entry before
  • are court bailiffs, entering commercial property
  • are collecting income tax or VAT

The bailiffs can force their way into other buildings on your property, as long as they aren't attached to your home. For example, they can break into a garden shed or into a detached garage.

How do I report a bailiff? 

If you feel a bailiff has forced entry into your home, damaged your property without authority, or threatened you with violence, a criminal offence may have been commited. 

To make a report about a bailiff fill in the Report a crime or incident form, or visit your local police station.

Useful links

Bailiff powers when they visit your property