High Court Enforcements Officer at my door(111 Posts)
A friend of mine is in a complicated situation with lots of debt and no fixed abode. Somehow she’s been traced to my flat. Yesterday morning a High Court Enfirceemnt
ENforecement agent showed up at my door with a stage 1 enforcement letter. I said that friend doesn’t live here and showed contract - the officer let himself into communal hallway but didn’t come near my flat. My friend can’t / won’t pay or contact them, and I’m worried about the stage 2 enforecement. Because they’ve been in the building can they come in my flat? The fact that they served the stage 1 enforcement makes me wonder if coming to my flat counts as their first stage in recovering the debt - even though it’s the wrong address. On the second visit they are permitted to seize goods. I could really do without more bailiffs at the door, pretty embarrassing when I’ve never owed anyone anything personally. Do you reckon a copy of my contract will be sufficient? They’ll never find her elsewhere and I’m probably their only lead in over a year.
You need to tell them that it is not your friends address and do not let them in. Talk through an open window. Tell them your friend is staying with you temporarily. I'm assuming you've not had notification of their visit? They legally need to give 7 days notice.
If you have a chain on your door, use that. Show them a copy of your rent agreement. Your friend needs Debt advice, this problem will not go away.
Just co operate with them and the matter will be resolved. Since your friend doesn’t live or own anything in your flat show them proof of this and they will be on their way.
If you've shown them a contract in your name, surely that's proof enough that she doesn't live there?
Keep doors and windows locked at all times as they can make peaceful entry without permission if they're left unlocked or open.
Also I would be having a stern word with your friend- she is using your address and won’t deal with her debt problems. I wouldn’t be impressed if my friend did this to me.
A HCEO is not the same as a bailiff. I believe they have greater powers.
Wow what a shitty friend!
Echoing other posters, do not allow them access. Your 'friend' isn't on your agreement nor does she own your property so they surely have no right to remove your posessions. The open window idea is a good one.
Your 'friend' needs to face her debt.
Your friend is prepared to allow you to deal with them, potentially allowing a removal of goods (because without proof she doesn’t live there they can do that and it’s up to you to prove the goods belong to you with receipts) and not owning up?
Fuck that, in a hot second I’d tell them exactly where she lived. No danger I’d let a so called friend put me in that position, she’s being very unfair.
I had close call as kept getting balief letters when I’m the only person who’s ever lived here froma new build so obviously Concerned and worried about fraud. Was told
To have copies of rent agreement and council tax reduction proving that I’m the only adult here. There is nothing in anyone’s else’s name.
I'm sorry to say but high court enforcement do not need to give you notice of them coming and can legally (at the right property) break in as they have a high court warrant to seize goods to recover some or all of the debt (just depends on what they can get).
There is a limit on what they can take tho. I cannot remember full details but they have to leave basics like fridge cooker beds etc. But are free to take anything else, and are obviously looking for things that will sell at auction.
If something does not belong to the debtor that had to be proven in order for it to be left.
I would assume then that as you have a contract for your home in your name that you have already shown them then that should be proof that she does not live there and therefore proof they have the wrong address and cannot legally gain entry to or remove items from your property. But I would be making contact with them asap to ensure this happens.
Best of Luck. And try to convince your friend burying her head in the sand is pointless, silly, and won't make this go away.
Phone a dent helpline and get proper information. CAB or Stepchange.
And ask your friend why the fuck you have high court enforcement officers at your flat looking for her!
Is your friend staying with you at the moment?
PP are correct in saying that high court enforcement agents can call a locksmith and enter the property to repossess goods and the onus is on you to provide proof you Own the goods (receipts that show your name, etc).
Are you sure they were actual high court agents? Sometimes dodgy bailiffs insinuate they are to get into your property but have nowhere near the powers high court officers do.
Do not bury your head in the sand about this, if it is a high court warrant then it absolutely will not go away
HCEOs can only make peacable entry to residential buildings, they can only force entry into commercial buildings.
That and the law has changed, some time ago (the telly programmes all carry a notice about it) . You now get a Compliance letter, giving 7 days notice of any enforcement. So OP must have ignored that letter, which was a bit daft as a quick phone call may well have sorted it all out!
What you need to do, OP, is get in touch with them. Copies of your AST and council tax bill should be enough to show them that you live there, alone.
If you know where your 'friend' lives give them her address, she has deliberately dropped you in it, save some other poor sod the same problem!
There are only limited circumstances when they can break into a domestic address.
Friend doesn’t live here no - she stayed for a few days a couple of months ago and get gets the odd bit of post which I open and pass on. She’s been drifting since her (ex’s) debt got out of control. Big age gap and he put lots of CCs, store cards and payday loans in her name when she was too young to see the danger.
I don’t have a chain on the door but my block of flats is bizarre, no number on the building, weird layout where you’d struggle to find our front door, we have access through an unmarked, locked door inside the building shared with 2 other flats - none of us have numbers on the doors. So without speaking to neighbours hopefully they can’t actually identify my specific flat?
I'm sorry to say but high court enforcement do not need to give you notice of them coming
You see, I don't think this is so any more. I watch it on TV and yes, they arrive with no previous notice, but when a family member had to instruct High Court Enforcers to serve on a local business, they had to give said business a week's notice (which they used to empty their premises and disappear) because the law had apparently changed.
In the end he just had to pay the HCE fee and never got any of his money back - nobody knew where the owner of the business had gone.
Your friend owes money to people. She needs to face up to the consequences of her debt and deal with them, not leave you to deal with them and also face the anxiety of having HCEs seize your property because you are not able to provide paperwork to prove what is yours, is yours and not hers.
They don't have to give 7 days notice as said above and they don't have to wait for a second visit before they can seize goods.
Tell your friend that she needs to contact them immediately and you will not cover for her again. Ask her how
on earth they traced her to your home and she has brought you into this mess.
Above all, she needs to talk to them. She needs to make an arrangement to pay. If she has goods which can be seized to go some way to pay the debt, that is only right and proper that they should be seized, but it is unlikely they will do so if she is truly on her uppers and it makes no dent in the debt. She needs to show them her position and what she could afford.
Does she now realise that because they have been called out, and will have to call at yours or somewhere else again, the debt has now increased? It will increase quite significantly every single time the HCEs will come out.
Urge her to call them today.
This person is not a friend if she's willing to make you go through all of this. Putting her head in the sand and ignoring it will not make it go away. Stuff her, tell them where she is living/staying and then dump her. Friends don't do that to friends.
BTW I know the above because I have engaged HCEs to recover debt.
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