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Inventory of goods taken

When a bailiff takes control of your belongings, they must give you a list of all the items, called an inventory.

This page shows you what an inventory looks like and how you can check it is correct.

If you’re dealing with bailiff action that began before 6 April 2014, different rules may apply. You should get advice from your local Citizens Advice Bureau.

What next?

Receiving an inventory means the bailiff has taken control of the belongings listed on it. It's not too late to stop the bailiff action, but you can only do this by dealing with the debt you owe.

If the inventory is combined with a controlled goods agreement, you should keep to the payments you've agreed with the bailiff. If the inventory is combined with a notice after entry or taking control of goods, it will tell you how to contact the bailiff to make arrangements to deal with the debt.

More about controlled goods agreements

More about a notice after entry or taking control of goods

Checking an inventory

A bailiff's inventory of goods must:

  • contain all the information and use the wording in the example below
  • include enough information for you to be able to correctly identify every item that has been taken
  • may be combined with a controlled goods agreement, or a notice after entry or taking control of goods
  • be signed by the bailiff.

If an inventory doesn't follow these rules, you can complain to the bailiff firm and ask them not to take any further action until they've issued a correct inventory.

This is what an inventory should look like:

Bailiff's inventory of goods taken

Details of goods

The inventory must contain enough information to allow you to identify the goods that have been taken into control. So, for example, if you own two televisions but the bailiff has only taken control of one, the inventory must be specific enough to allow you to tell which television has been taken. The information needed for any individual item will depend on the nature of that item, but it could include the following:

  • the manufacturer, make and model of goods
  • in the case of a vehicle, the manufacturer, make, model, colour and registration number
  • the material, colour, usage and any other identifying feature of goods.

The bailiff isn't allowed to use phrases such as "all necessary goods," or "all goods not exempt." Everything on the list must be itemised and identifiable by you.

You should check the list carefully to make sure the bailiff hasn't wrongfully taken control of any goods that should be exempt.

If the inventory doesn't contain enough information for you to identify which goods have been taken into control, then the bailiff may not have taken control of your goods and any controlled goods agreement you've signed may not be valid.

Joint owners

If any of the goods on the inventory are owned jointly by you and someone else, the bailiff must make separate inventories for each joint owner. You should receive separate inventories of the goods owned only by you alone and of the goods you jointly own with each joint owner.

Each joint owner must receive their own copy of the inventory of the goods they jointly own as well as the bailiff's notice after taking control of goods.

Next steps

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