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Notice of enforcement - bailiffs

A notice of enforcement marks the start of the bailiff process. A bailiff can't visit your home or business premises until they've sent you a notice of enforcement. The notice explains why they are coming and tells you what you can do to stop the bailiff action.

This page shows you what an enforcement notice 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?

If you receive a notice of enforcement, you still have time to stop the bailiff action. The notice will tell you how you can do this by paying what you owe, although you may have other options for stopping the bailiffs.

If you don't stop bailiff action, the next thing you can expect will be a visit by the bailiffs.

Stopping bailiff action - your options

Bailiff is coming - what to do

Checking a notice of enforcement

The notice of enforcement must:

  • contain all the information and the wording shown in the example below
  • give you at least seven days' notice before bailiff action starts, not including the day the notice is issued, the day of the visit, Sundays, bank holidays, Good Friday or Christmas Day, unless the bailiff has a court order allowing them to give you less notice. For example, if the notice of enforcement is issued on a Tuesday, the earliest the bailiff can visit is the Thursday of the following week
  • be sent to you in writing by post or hand delivery to your home or business, by fax or email, by fixing the notice prominently to your premises if you don't have a letterbox, or by being given to you in person.

If the notice of enforcement doesn't keep to these rules, you can complain to the bailiff firm and ask them to put their action on hold while they issue a new notice.

The notice of enforcement should look like this:

Enforcement notice - bailiffs

Next steps

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