how can i complain about a bailiff?

Summary: This article explains how to make a complaint about a bailiff and some of the circumstances under which a complaint would be appropriate.

Anyone who has experience of bailiffs will know that it can be a very stressful experience, and the bailiff has a duty to remain professional at all times by being polite and not breaking the rules. However, there may be times when an individual feels that a bailiff has acted in appropriately and want to take action.

Who do I complain to?

Depending on who the bailiff is working on behalf of will dictate who the complaint should be addressed to:

Private Bailiffs

The majority of Bailiffs operating in the UK work for private companies, in which case, a letter should be sent to the specific company. If no satisfactory response is received, then a further letter should be sent to whoever the bailiff is working on behalf of (i.e. whoever the money is owed to). It may also be possible to complain directly to their trade union (if they are a member), which will either be the Civil Enforcement Association (CIVEA) or the High Court Enforcement Officers Association (HCEOA).

County Court Bailiffs and Civilian Enforcement Officers

These bailiffs may be employed by the courts and therefore there is a different complaint process. The individual will need to complete a court complaint form, which is available from the HM Court & Tribunals Service Website (

When can I make a complaint about a bailiff?

If at any point an individual feels the bailiff is acting inappropriately, they could be able to make a complaint. A bailiff must act as a professional at all times, if they threatens harass an individual, or force there way into the home, then they are breaking their own rules, and a complaint should be lodged. Furthermore, if they try to charge inappropriate fees or try to take items that belong to someone else, they are again breaking their rules. It is important to remember that a bailiff is not allowed to act aggressively in anyway, and if an individual feels threatened, they should phone the police immediately.