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Hi everyone. I haven't been on tis site for quite some time, but I have a bailliff issue. 3 months ago I moved into a new flat, naturally I got mail from previous tenants, one of which I recognised immediately as a bailliff letter addressed to one of them. It stated the usual stuff about enforcement and collection of a council tax debt. I ignored it as it was not my debt. I spoke to my landlord and he told me that the tenant concerned had moved out 5 years previously and that I he had tried to contact the ageny (Rundle & Co) with no reply and should just ignore the letters.

I know that a company should get a county court judgement before threatening seizure of goods and I am on the electoral register at this address so I can prove that I live there alone.

Today, after returning from work in the post was a hand delivered letter saying that a bailliff had arrived with transport to seize property and would come back within 48 hours.

I have several questions

1. Is this just a bluff, or are they serious this time?

2. Am I under any legal obligation to contact them, even though the debt has nothing to do with me financially but it is my flat and possessions that are being threatened?

3. Very important!!! Whose job (if any) is it to prove that a previous tenant whose debt it is is no longer living there? I can prove that I live there but as to a previous tenant, how do you prove a negative? If my landlord had no joy with them what chance do I have?

4. If this is actually for real and they do come, the flat I live in is on the ground floor of an old hotel converted into flats. There is a communal entrance shared by the eight occupants. Often the communal door is not shut properly by other tenants so in theory a bailliff could just walk in and be at my actual flat door immediately. In law with whom does the communal door belong should they decide to enter by force?

5. I refer you to an article on exactly the same subject that appeared in the Daily Mail a few weeks ago. Ann Widdicombe MP had rented out a property of hers to a tenant who later left and was threatened with action from a bailliff for an unpaid debt. According to her article she attempted to contact the bailliff with proof that the person was no longer living there and their new address, she even mentioned who she was but she was ignored. As far as I know she has still had no success with this bailliff issue.

I am sure this situation is common for people moving into new properties and would appreciate any advice on my questions.



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Hi, JSS.


I'm going to move your post and mine to start a new thread for you.






Any advice I give is honest and in good faith.:)

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Guest Happy Contrails

1. Bluff - bailiffs cannot commit breaking & entering or seize goods that do not belong to their debtor named on the Liability Order.

2. No obligation

3. You have no burden of proof, the Bailiff is under a duty of care to ensure he is enforcing a debt against the debtor and nobody else - even if he is allowed into your property there is nothing he can do.

4. No, the law says the bailiff needs to enter a dwellinghouse peacefully if he is to return and and regain entry be force. The communal hallway of your building is not part of your dwellinghouse because its not used for living in - only a transit point from the main entrance of the building to your front door of your apartment.

5. Whats the question?

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