To sign up for the Landlord Law Newsletter (and get a free guide)>> Click Here

Can the bailiff who evicts a tenant seize goods?

bailiffHere is a question to the blog clinic from Robina (not her real name) who is a landlord

I was recently told by a judge that if a tenant is evicted for private (not commercial) rent arrears, the bailiff who carries out the eviction has the right to seize any of the tenant’s goods that are present in the property at the time of the eviction (and sell them and apply the proceeds toward the rent arrears).

I am curious as to whether, if this is true and the bailiff did not seize any of the goods, that can later be used as a valid argument or evidence even in deciding that the tenant’s goods were without value.

The court bailiffs do have the right to do this but in evictions they very rarely do.  Probably the main reason for this is that most landlords are just concerned to get their property back.

Levying execution on goods is not a very good way to recover a debt, not in most evicting tenant situations anyway.  Tenant’s who are being evicted for rent arrears rarely have anything of value.

If you bear in mind that certain goods the bailiffs cannot sieze anyway (I can’t remember the details but its something like personal clothes, household necessites and the tools of their trade), then that does not normally leave very much.

Add to that the fact that the judgement creditor (ie the landlord in this situation) is personally  responsible for the bailiffs’ costs of removing and storing items pending sale and the fact that the sale price of goods at these auctions rarely come anywhere near the value they would have had new – and you will often have a situation where the landlord will end up paying hefty sums of money to the bailiffs.

As regards the second part of your question, the bailiffs are not valuers and any failure to levy execution on goods should not be taken as an indication of their value.

About the author

Tessa Shepperson Tessa is a lawyer specialising in residential landlord and tenant law. She runs the Landlord Law website (now in its 12th year) and is also a director of Easy Law Training Ltd and Your Law Store. When not working she enjoys reading, cooking and messing around on the computer. You can also find her on Google

Buffer
If you have a landlord and tenant related question please do not ask it here but use our
>> Blog Clinic.

Comments close after three months.

Please >> click here to read our comments policy

Page 1 of 11

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.




»

«


The Landlord Law Blog from Tessa Shepperson

Tessa is an English lawyer specialising in residential landlord and tenant law.


Legal Services

Legal services are provided via Tessa's online service Landlord Law. Some advice services are provided by Tessa, other legal services are provided by specialist housing firm Anthony Gold.


Disclaimer

The purpose of this blog is to provide information, comment and discussion. Although Tessa, or guest bloggers, may from time to time, give helpful comments to readers' questions, these can only be based on the information given by the reader in his or her comment, which may not contain all material facts. Any comments or suggestions provided by Tessa or any guest bloggers should not therefore be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice from a qualified lawyer regarding any actual legal issue or dispute.


Nothing on this website should be construed as legal advice or perceived as creating a solicitor-client relationship (apart from the Fast Track block clinic service - so far as the questioners only are concerned).


Guest bloggers

Please note that any opinion expressed by a guest blogger is his or hers alone, and does not necessarily reflect the views of Tessa Shepperson, or the other writers on this blog.


Other websites from Tessa

Lodger Landlord | School for Landlords | Google+ | Your Law Store | Google | Landlord Law facebook page | Tenancy Agreements Manual | How to Evict Your Tenant website | the Which Tenancy Agreement Guide | Landlords Tips | Tenants Tips