Amendments have recently been made to regulations 10 and 23 of The Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2013. The amendments advise that the suspension of enforcement action by enforcement agents will end on 23rd August 2020 in respect of residential addresses.
Provided no other amendments are made, the end of this suspension period will mean that enforcement visits to residential property will recommence from 24th August.
In light of the inevitable backlog of cases, it is recommended that if you have obtained a judgment against a debtor that you transfer this to the High Court now for enforcement so that your writ will sit first in the queue ahead of any other writs received against the same debtor. It is likely that the priority of writs will be an important factor, particularly in relation to commercial debtors who may have several creditors, as an increasing volume of new instructions are being received from the enforcement agents.
In preparation for the return to full enforcement, our enforcement agents, High Court Enforcement, have developed a strategy, in line with the post-lockdown plan issued by the High Court Enforcement Officers Association (HCEOA).
The HCEOA’s post-lockdown plan sets out the principles, working practices and behaviours that all High Court Enforcement Officers will follow from 24th August. In line with the latest Government guidance, the plan details:
- Additional training requirements for all enforcement agents prior to any home visits
- The need to follow appropriate social distancing guidance where possible
- The provision of protective equipment and hygiene supplies to ensure the visiting member of staff protect themselves, debtors and members of the public whilst at work
The agents will not enter premises or take control of goods where they have been notified that any individual living at that address has Coronavirus or is isolating.
High Court Enforcement Officers recognise that some judgment debtors will be experiencing significant effects because of the COVID-19 situation and have vulnerability processes to follow which are designed to consider the case-by-case circumstances of judgment debtors and ensure they are treated fairly.
If you would like to speak to someone within our Dispute Resolution team please contact our offices on 01228 552222 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that both telephone and video appointments can be arranged.