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Welcome to High Court Enforcement Group LMS


The Law Relevant to Enforcement Agents

Law relevant to enforcement agents


The law relevant to enforcement agent will be summarised in the following chapter by way of paragraph headings.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this chapter you will be able to:

identify the powers and obligations conferred by the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 and associated regulations

identify aspects of Human Rights legislation that are relevant to the enforcement profession

describe the Enforcement Agents obligations in respect of the current Data Protection legislation

state possible consequences of not complying with current legislation relevant to the enforcement agent role

Powers available to an enforcement agent

What is the legal authority for the Taking Control of Goods?

In order to use the Taking Control of Goods there must be a legal right to do so. This arises where legislation allows the remedy to be used for a particular type of debt and in respect of civil debts or local taxes, a court has authorised its use against a particular debtor.

Control of Goods cannot be used in respect of domestic rents but for other debts it is available as an enforcement remedy, either where it is authorised by legislation or where a court has made an order that allows its use against a particular debtor. Where authority has been given by a court there will be documentary evidence of the court decision naming the debtor concerned. The legal right to use the Taking Control of Goods arises from the decision taken by the relevant court issuing an order, judgment, warrant or writ in relation to the particular case but there are two

National tax debts under collection by HM Revenues and Customs.

Commercial Rent Arrears where the landlord is using the Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR) process.

certificated to act as an enforcement agent by the county court under section 64 of the TCE Act

exempt from certification under section  63 because they are a police officer, court officer, HMRC officer or officer of another government department working in the course of their duty

physically accompanying someone who falls into one of the two categories above.

The enforcement agent must also follow the prescribed procedure for taking control of goods as set out in the procedure below;


Enforcement by taking control of goods

62           (1) Schedule 12 applies where an enactment, writ or warrant confers power to use the procedure in that Schedule (taking control of goods and selling them to recover a sum of money).

                (2) The power conferred by a writ or warrant of control to recover a sum of money, and any power conferred by a writ or warrant of possession or delivery to take control of goods and sell them to recover a sum of money, is exercisable                            only by using that procedure.


63         Enforcement agents

(1) This section and section 64 apply for the purposes of Schedule 12.

(2) An individual may act as an enforcement agent only if one of these applies—

      (a) he acts under a certificate under section 64;

      (b) he is exempt;

      (c) he acts in the presence and under the direction of a person to whom paragraph (a) or (b) applies.

(3) An individual is exempt if he acts in the course of his duty as one of these—

      (a) a constable;

      (b) an officer of Revenue and Customs;

      (c) a person appointed under section 2(1) of the Courts Act 2003 (c39) (court officers and staff).

(4) An individual is exempt if he acts in the course of his duty as an officer of a government department.

(5) For the purposes of an enforcement power conferred by a warrant, an individual is exempt if in relation to the warrant he is a civilian enforcement officer, as defined in section 125A of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 (c. 43).

(6) A person is guilty of an offence if, knowingly or recklessly, he purports to act as an enforcement agent without being authorised to do so by subsection (2).

(7) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale...............................................