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Notice of sale - text only

Before the bailiffs can sell your belongings, they must give you a notice of sale. They can't sell your goods unless they've done this. The notice explains how and when your belongings will be sold and tells you what you can do to stop it.

This page explains what information a notice before sale must contain, and explains how and when it is used.

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 sale, you still have time to stop your belongings from being sold. 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.

Stopping bailiff action - your options

Checking a notice of sale

The notice of sale must:

  • contain all the correct information
  • be signed by the bailiff
  • give you at least seven days' notice before the sale. The exception to this is if the value of the goods would go down if the bailiff waited this long.
  • 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
  • be sent to any joint
  • owners of jointly owned goods that are being sold
  • be re-issued if the date, time or location of the sale changes, giving you the same period of notice again.

If the notice doesn't follow all these rules, you can complain to the bailiff firm and ask them to delay the sale while they issue you with a correct notice. If the bailiffs won't put things right, you can apply to court to get your belongings back.

Information a notice of sale must contain

A notice of sale must contain the following information:

  • the time, date and location of the sale
  • your name and address
  • the bailiff's name
  • the reference number of your case
  • the date of the notice
  • the name and address of any joint owners of the goods to be sold
  • a statement that the controlled goods may be sold because you've failed to pay what you owe
  • a list of the goods, including enough details to allow you to identify each item correctly, such as manufacturer, model, serial number, colour, material and any other identifying characteristics
  • a statement that the sale of the goods depends on someone offering to buy the goods and any reserve price being reached
  • a statement that if the goods don't sell at the first attempt, you will be given a notice of a new time, date and location of sale
  • how much money you owe, as of the date the notice was issued
  • the day and time by which you must repay what you owe, if you want to stop the sale from going ahead
  • how and when you can pay what you owe
  • how you can get your goods back if you do pay what you owe.

If the goods fail to sell at the first attempt, you should receive a notice of the new date, time and place of sale, which must also include a statement that it is a further notice of sale. It must also give you the same amount of notice as the first notice did.

Next steps

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