Archive for January, 2012

The bailiffs are coming!

Certificated bailiffs are much used by the property industry to recover rent arrears or to peaceably re-enter commercial property, without the intervention of the courts, if a tenant fails to pay rent or comply with a notice served pursuant to s146 Law of Property Act, 1925.  Bailiffs may also, for instance, recover Council Tax, parking fines or execute court judgements.

Bailiffs may be employed by private companies or by Her Majesty’s Court Service.  National Standards, introduced in 2002 by the Lord Chancellor’s department (now the Ministry of Justice), are for use by all enforcement agents.  Further, the Civil Enforcement Agency, representing private certificated bailiffs, has its own Code of Conduct and Good Practice Guide.  Nevertheless, the intimidating and threatening behaviour of some bailiffs has led to complaints.

The Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 was to abolish the common law right to recover rent arrears and introduce a new system for the recovery of commercial rent arrears (‘CRAR’).  However, this section of the Act was never enforced.  Further, the Law Commission advised in its Report, Termination of Tenancies for Tenant Default, upon the abolition of the present law of forfeiture, including the law relating to peaceable re-entry. and the introduction of a new statutory scheme, including a summary termination procedure.  Again this was not implemented.

However, on 13 January 2012, the Justice Minister, Jonathan Djanogly, unveiled updated National Standards outlining minimum standards of behaviour expected of bailiffs.  The Minister said that whilst he knew the majority of bailiffs are responsible “too many are not”.  This is said by the Ministry of Justice to be the first step in Government plans to change regulation of bailiffs.  So, watch this space and to hear more, why not contact Hatherleigh Training?