Bailiff

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    Bailiff

    Hello,

    My landlord owns the freehold on a small set of flats, each of whose entrance is onto a communal hallway with a communal door from there to the street. We all have separate ASTs and each flat is self-contained.

    One of my neighbours owes a considerable amount of unpaid Council Tax, and the council have now instructed bailiffs to recover the debt. (I am not a party to the dispute).

    I am curious as to what the law is regarding whether my landlord can unlock the door to my neighbour's flat against my neighbour's wishes, so they can enforce the recovery for the council. This would minimise potentional damage caused by bailiffs trying to gain entry, which I'm sure the landlord is keen to avoid (and stop them taking the landlord's items if the landlord is present). Can the landlord do this?

    Also, is there any legal obligation on the landlord, or residents of other flats, to allow access to the communal hallway if requested?

    Thanks

    #2
    I believe Baillifs have right of entry to enforce an order, but have to do so with miminal damage, so they will not just break down the door. They should attend on several occasions to try to find the occupier at home, and will sometimes bring police officer to ensure no breach of the peace. If they cannot gain access by occupier co-operation, they can employ a locksmith to enter without damage and re-secure the property.

    If there are items within the flat that are the LL's property, LL would have to prove ownership. Baillifs can sieze goods but have to return them if the ownership is later proved to be the LL's.

    Not been directly involved in this myself, but my brother is a locksmith!

    Comment


      #3
      You don't have to let them in and they can't break in on their first entry, as per 10 seconds on Google and Citizen Advice Bureau:
      http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/englan..._your_home.htm

      Comment


        #4
        The neighbour uses the flat as their second home, and only visits every few months or so, so there's a fair chance there will be no-one in to let them in on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th times, so to speak. The bailiffs have already visited once and left a letter (contents visible to everyone!)

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by maniacmartin View Post
          The neighbour uses the flat as their second home, and only visits every few months or so, so there's a fair chance there will be no-one in to let them in on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th times, so to speak. The bailiffs have already visited once and left a letter (contents visible to everyone!)
          Then (to be pedantic) your neighbour doesn't have an AST.

          Comment

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