June 12, 2019 at 11:21 am #22264AdministratorKeymaster
The law says enforcement can be executed where the debtor usually lives or carries on a trade or business. If the debtor is a company trading from other premises, the bailiff cannot execute against a director at his home. The writ having a wrong address is evidence the debtor has not been given notice and he can sue for damages for breach of regulations requiring debtors to be given notice before enforcement starts.
The address on the writ, warrant or liability order is wrong.
Paragraph 14 of Schedule 12 of the Tribunals Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 states;
14(1)An enforcement agent may enter relevant premises to search for and take control of goods.
(2)Where there are different relevant premises this paragraph authorises entry to each of them.
(3)This paragraph authorises repeated entry to the same premises, subject to any restriction in regulations.
(4)If the enforcement agent is acting under section 72(1) (CRAR), the only relevant premises are the demised premises.
(5)If he is acting under section 121A of the Social Security Administration Act 1992 (c. 5), premises are relevant if they are the place, or one of the places, where the debtor carries on a trade or business.
(6)Otherwise premises are relevant if the enforcement agent reasonably believes that they are the place, or one of the places, where the debtor—
(a)usually lives, or
(b)carries on a trade or business.
Where the debtors address is wrong, it is evidence that enforcement also fails on failure to give the debtor notice which is a further breach of Schedule 12, under paragraph 7(1) of Schedule 12 of the Tribunals Courts and Enforcement Act 2007, which states;
(1)An enforcement agent may not take control of goods unless the debtor has been given notice.
Stop enforcement action being taken at the wrong address
Goods on other premises
A bailiff can apply for a separate warrant to enter specific premises.
Paragraph 15 of Schedule 12 of the Tribunals Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 states;
(1)If an enforcement agent applies to the court it may issue a warrant authorising him to enter specified premises to search for and take control of goods.
(2)Before issuing the warrant the court must be satisfied that all these conditions are met—
(a)an enforcement power has become exercisable;
(b)there is reason to believe that there are goods on the premises that the enforcement power will be exercisable to take control of if the warrant is issued;
(c)it is reasonable in all the circumstances to issue the warrant.
(3)The warrant authorises repeated entry to the same premises, subject to any restriction in regulations.
The rule requiring bailiffs to produce this warrant also apply. Failure to show it on demand invalidates enforcement.
If enforcement has already taken place
You can bring an action under paragraph 66 of Schedule 12 of the Tribunals Courts and Enforcement Act 2007, which states;
66(1)This paragraph applies where an enforcement agent—
(a)breaches a provision of this Schedule, or
(b)acts under an enforcement power under a writ, warrant, liability order or other instrument that is defective.
(2)The breach or defect does not make the enforcement agent, or a person he is acting for, a trespasser.
(3)But the debtor may bring proceedings under this paragraph.
(4)Subject to rules of court, the proceedings may be brought—
(a)in the High Court, in relation to an enforcement power under a writ of the High Court;
(b)in a county court, in relation to an enforcement power under a warrant issued by a county court;
(c)in any other case, in the High Court or a county court.
(5)In the proceedings the court may—
(a)order goods to be returned to the debtor;
(b)order the enforcement agent or a related party to pay damages in respect of loss suffered by the debtor as a result of the breach or of anything done under the defective instrument.
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