A Enforcement Agent is likely to visit your home if you do not pay certain debts – for example;
- Council Tax or Business Rates bills
- Penalty Charge Notices,
- TV Licencing Fines
- and unpaid Court Fines
This will happen if you do not adhere to reminder notices or other requests to pay or make an arrangement to pay.
Are there different types of Enforcement Agents?
Yes. Whilst they all carry the title of “Enforcement Agent”, there are different roles in which they operate;
- Certificated Enforcement Agents
- High Court Enforcement Officers
- County Court and Family Court Enforcement Agents
- Civilian Enforcement Officers
Do Enforcement Agents have to tell you if they are planning to visit?
Absolutely! Enforcement Agents must usually give you at least 7 days’ notice of their first visit.
Pay what you owe before an Enforcement Agent visits
If you think an Enforcement Agent might visit you, you can prevent this from happening, by paying what you owe or speaking to the issuing authority, such as your Local Authority for Local Taxation debts, to agree upon a Special Payment Arrangement.
Checking that an Enforcement Agent is authorised to visit
It is recommended that you do not let an Enforcement Agent into your property however, there are some instances where this may have need to happen therefore, Before you let an Enforcement Agent into your property, ask them:
- to see proof of their identity, such as a badge, ID card or enforcement agent certificate
- confirm which Enforcement Agency they are working for
- provide a contact number for the agent
- provide a detailed breakdown of the amount owed
It is your right to ask for proof of an Enforcement Agent’s identity and proof of authorisation to visit, even if they have visited before. You can ask that they put it through the letterbox or show it at the window. We recommend this course of action for vulnerable households.
All Enforcement Agents must have a certificate. If they do not, you must ask who has referred your debt to them and then contact that organisation – for example, your Local Authority if Council Tax or Business Rates. They will then be able to confirm if the person visiting you is doing so lawfully.
Anyone claiming to be an Enforcement Agent and isn’t one is committing fraud.
To check an Enforcement Agent’s identity, find out what kind of Enforcement Agent they are from their proof of identity and then:
- check the register of certificated Enforcement Agents if they say they’re a certificated enforcement agent
- check here if they say they’re a High Court Enforcement Officer
Making Payments to an Enforcement Agent
You can do this on the doorstep – you do not have to let them into your home or by calling them on their mobile number, which should be on any correspondence received (usually by hand if they have attended before)
Make sure you get a receipt to prove you’ve paid. Some do not provide receipts therefore, you should ask them to send you a text message confirming details of any payments made (amount / date / method etc..). Also, keep track of this on your bank statements if paying by card, or note it down on a calendar if paying cash.
If you cannot pay all the money right away, speak to the Enforcement Agent about paying by affordable and sustainable instalments.
Offer to pay what you can afford in weekly or monthly payments.
The Enforcement Agent does not have to accept your offer, but they should consider reasonable offers that will clear the balance in a sensible timeframe.