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Bailiffs: Licensing

Volume 458: debated on Monday 12 March 2007

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what regulations are in place on the licensing of bailiff operators. (126040)

Certificated bailiffs are governed by the Distress for Rent Rules 1988 and the Distress for Rent (Amendment) Rules 1999. High Court Enforcement Officers are governed by the High Court Enforcement Officer’s Regulations 2004. Activities of County Court bailiffs employed by Her Majesty’s Courts Service are regulated by the terms of their contracts of employment. All other private bailiffs are currently self-regulated.

The Tribunals’ Courts and Enforcement Bill was introduced in the House of Lords on 16 November 2006 and had its Second Reading in the House of Commons on 5 March 2007. The Bill provides for the regulation of all enforcement agents, including bailiffs, who are not Crown employees. They will all have compulsory criminal record checks, all be subject to the same complaints system and all have to hold a certificate issued by a county court judge. In the longer term the Government are proposing that all non-Crown employed enforcement agents be licensed by an independent regulator, the Security Industry Authority.