2. How to complain about a bailiff

You can complain about a bailiff if you think they’ve broken the rules, eg if they:

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

Who you need to complain to depends on whether the bailiff is a:

  • private bailiff, working for a private company (also know as a ‘certificated enforcement agent’)
  • county or family court bailiff or civilian enforcement officer, working directly for the court

Complain about a private bailiff

Most bailiffs work for private companies, even if they’re collecting money for the council or the government.

You should first complain to the company the bailiff works for or the people you owe money to.

You can complain to a court if a bailiff:

  • behaves badly - eg if they threaten you
  • breaks the rules - eg if they charge you too much

You might be able to get a refund of fees or your goods returned if a bailiff has broken the rules.

Get legal advice before starting any court action - you can get free advice from a Citizens Advice Bureau.

Complain to a trade organisation

You may also be able to complain to the bailiff’s trade association.

Check the membership lists on the trade associations’ websites:

Complain to the trade association if the bailiff is a member. Follow the complaints procedure on the association’s website.

Complain about a county or family court bailiff or civilian enforcement officer

Fill in a court complaint form. if you’re complaining about a county or family court bailiff or civilian enforcement.

Post the form to the court - you can find the address using court finder.

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