Skip to content Skip to footer

This advice applies to England. Change country

Follow-up visit by bailiff - what to expect

Sometimes a bailiff will need to make a follow-up visit to your home or business premises.

This page explains when a bailiff can come back to your property, and what to expect when this happens.

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.

Reasons for a follow-up visit

What you can expect from a follow-up visit by a bailiff will depend on the reason for their visit. The main reasons why a bailiff might make a follow-up visit to your home or business premises include the following:

  • to inspect goods taken into control on the first visit
  • to take away goods they took into control on the first visit
  • you've broken a controlled goods agreement
  • the bailiff believes you've brought belongings of value onto the premises since the first visit
  • the bailiff couldn't take control of something on the first visit because the item was being used.

Inspecting or taking away controlled goods

A bailiff can return to your property to inspect goods they took control of during their first visit. The bailiff isn't required to give you a notice of this. They're not generally allowed to use force to get back in, unless they were allowed to use force on the first visit or they have a court order allowing them to use force.

The bailiff will check the goods in whatever place they were secured in your home and may decide to take them away. You must be given a notice after removal of goods, which may also be combined with an inventory of goods taken.

Notice after goods have been removed

Inventory of goods taken

You've broken a controlled goods agreement

A bailiff will return to your property to take away your goods for sale if you break the terms of a controlled goods agreement. If you don't let the bailiff in or there is no one at home, you can expect the bailiff to force their way in. They will take the goods listed in the controlled goods agreement. You must be given at least two clear days' notice of the bailiff's follow-up visit, given to you in a notice of intention to re-enter.

Controlled goods agreements

Notice of intention to re-enter

Bailiff believes you have new belongings

If the bailiff couldn't take control of enough goods on their first visit, but believes you've brought more belongings of value onto your property since then, they may make a follow-up visit. You must be given at least two clear days' notice by the bailiff if this is the reason for their follow-up visit.

The rules around how they can get into your property and whether they can use force are the same as on their first visit. The only exception to this would be if the bailiff had a court order saying they can use force to get in.

How can a bailiff enter your property?

Can a bailiff force entry?

Bailiff couldn't take control of item on first visit

If the bailiff found an item of value on their first visit but couldn't take control of it because it was being used, they may return for it at a later date. For example, if you were wearing an item of jewellery on the bailiff's first visit, they may come back to take control of it. You must be given at least two clear days' notice by the bailiff is this is the reason for their follow-up visit.

Next steps

Did this advice help?