My Council Tax debt has been passed to an Enforcement Agent

Find out information and advice about what to do if your Council Tax debt has been passed to an Enforcement Agent for collection.

An Enforcement Agent (previously known as a ‘bailiff’) may visit your home if you don’t pay your Council Tax.

This will happen if you ignore letters saying that Enforcement Agents will be used.

If you receive a letter from an Enforcement Agent, contact them immediately to discuss your payment options. Acting promptly may help prevent your from incurring unnecessary costs through Enforcement Agent fees.

Pay what you owe before an Enforcement Agent visits

If you think an Enforcement Agent might visit you to collect your Council Tax, you can stop this by paying the money you owe.

If you are unsure what you owe, how to pay, or are struggling with your arrears get get advice about how to pay your debt from City of Doncaster Council or the Enforcement Agent as soon as possible.

Dealing with Enforcement Agents

You can always ask to check the Enforcement Agent’s identity.

Enforcement Agents from 4 companies (Bristow & Sutor, CDER group, Jacobs and Rundles) work on behalf of City of Doncaster Council to collect unpaid Council Tax and Business Rates and can provide evidence.

Before you let an Enforcement Agent in to take your things or pay them, ask to see:

  • proof of their identity, such as a badge, ID card or enforcement agent certificate
  • which company they’re from
  • a telephone contact number
  • details of the amount you owe

You can ask for proof of an Enforcement Agent’s identity and authorisation even if they’ve visited before - for example, ask them to put it through the letterbox or show it at the window.

All Enforcement Agents must have a certificate unless they’re exempt or they’re with someone who does have a certificate.

Contacting the Enforcement Agent Company

  • Bristow Sutur: Tel. 0871 6770070 Tel. 0845 6081237 (local rate)
  • CDER Group: Tel. 0330 460 5295
  • Jacobs: Tel. 0345 601 2692
  • Rundles: Tel. 08456 585030

Paying an Enforcement Agent

Make sure you get a receipt to prove you’ve paid.

If you can’t pay all the money right away, speak to the Enforcement Agent about how you could pay the money back.

Offer to pay what you can afford in weekly or monthly payments.

Please be aware that the Enforcement Agent doesn’t have to accept your offer.

Once your case has been passed to an Enforcement Agent, it will remain with them until the full debt is cleared.

What Enforcement Agents can and can’t take

An Enforcement Agent may take some of your belongings to sell.

They can take luxury items, for example a TV or games console.

Things they can’t take include:

  • things you need, such as your clothes, cooker or fridge
  • work tools and equipment which together are worth less than £1,350
  • someone else’s belongings, such as your partner’s computer. You’ll have to prove that someone else’s goods don’t belong to you.

What Enforcement Agents can charge (Fees)

The fees Enforcement Agents can charge are set by Government in accordance with the Taking Control of Goods (Fees) Regulations 2014.

  • When a Notice of Enforcement is sent - £75.00 per Liability Order 
  • If it becomes necessary for an Enforcement Agent to visit – they can apply a fixed fee of £235.00, plus 7.5% of any balance owed over £1,500.00
  • If there is the removal and sale of goods – they can apply a fixed fee of £110.00, plus 7.5% of any balance owed over £1,500.00, plus reasonable storage and auctioneers fees.

How to complain about an Enforcement Agent

You can complain about an Enforcement Agent if you think they’ve broken the rules, for example if they:

  • threaten or harass you
  • try to break into your home
  • try to charge you incorrect fees
  • take goods belonging to someone else.

You should first complain to the company the Enforcement Agent works for and advise Doncaster Council if necessary.

Once the complaint has been fully investigated by the Enforcement Agency, if you still disagree with their decision you can ask City of Doncaster Council to review the complaint through our complaints procedure. 

If you remain dissatisfied with the decision, you can refer your case to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) at  

Complain to a trade organisation

You may also be able to complain to the Enforcement Agent’s trade association; Civil Enforcement Association. You can check the membership lists on their website and follow the complaints procedure on there:

If your need further help or advice

You can get free help or advice on dealing with Enforcement Agents from:

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Last updated: 05 September 2023 17:32:46

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