Please help. My bisuness went into an uexpected meltdown yesterday during a visit by a lone bailiff sent by Westminster council. The visit was in connection with a long running dispute about business rates charges which we felt had been settled. They are also demanding for the periods 2010-2011 before which time the branch of our business had closed down. They are aware of this as we notified them in writing ahead of time. Despite numerous requests made to both Capita (revenue collection agency) and Westminster, they simply continue to send the bailiff - Equita and now "Newlyn", who inturn continue to deemand conflicting figurse.
The lone baliff turned up at a branch of the company which is also a franchise owned by someone else. He forced his way in by violently pushing the female employee against the wall while he shouted exlentives and racist words at the employee. I arrived ta the scebe moments later only to find the other employee crying, visibly frightened. He disregarded my niceties and demanded to pay up cash and in full or he would have our goods removed. Despite my explanations, including the fact that the franchice is owned by someone else, that the the equipment he is tryng to remove belong to third parties, he simply shouted a torrent of insults at me.
I called in the landlord who also owns all the furnitures and some of the equipment. The landlord forced him into a retreat by thretrening to sue him and Westminster council if he removed any of his goods.
Meanwhile my partner is now going around to raise some money. The bailiff changed his mind again and demanded well over £9000.00 which we definitely did not owe. The landlord called in the police who could not do much. In fact the female police officer tried her best to assist the bailiff. The bailiff calked in the van and they began to remove our belongings. Hoewer there were three branded freezers which did not belong to us. Despite the owners speaking to him on the phone about their clearly branded Movenpic equipment supported by contarct that we signed confirming the third party as the owners, the bailiff simply instructed the removal people to put big tubs of ice creams from all the freezers on the floor. They took all the freezers away while the contents were left behind on the floor, melting away.
It was at this point that I realised that he wasn't keeping any inventory of the good he was removing. He got upset and shouted a few nasty words at me.
At the end of it all, the baliff took away more than he listed on the inventory, caused some damage to the landlord's furniture and the wood floor, left all our dairy products - ice creams lollies, frozen pastries & savouries, etc on the floor. The whole scene were witnessed by the landlord's agents who stood by to discourage him from touching their property.
Can someone please advise as the bailiff has effectively shut down our business, Westminster is not talking to us, Capita continue to apply different positions depending on who answers the pone when we call. Is there a legal recourse? How do we embark on this.
Your assistance will be greatly appreciated.