Who are Bristow and Sutor Enforcement Agents
Bristow and Sutor Enforcement Agents are Certified Bailiffs.
They hold a certificate, granted by a judge at the county court, which allows them carry out enforcement action by way of taking control of goods and, if necessary, selling these to recover a debt.
Bristow and Sutor provide Enforcement and Debt Collection Services for local authorities in England and Wales.
They collect Council Tax, Business Rates, Parking Penalty Charge Notices and unpaid rent.
You can search the Certificated Enforcement Agent (Bailiff) Register here
What can Bristow & Sutor do?
A bailiff (‘enforcement agent’) from Bristow and Sutor may visit your home if you do not pay your debts - such as Council Tax bills, parking fines, court fines and county court or family court judgments.
Bristow & Sutor must usually give you at least 7 days’ notice of their first visit. This is called the compliance stage.
You usually do not have to open your door to a bailiff or let them in to your home.
Bristow & Sutor cannot enter your home:
- by force, for example by barging past you when you answer the door
- if only children under 16 or vulnerable people (with disabilities, for example) are present
- between 9pm and 6am
- through anything except the door, so they can't climb in through a window.
If you do not let a bailiff in or agree to pay them:
- they could take things from outside your home, for example your car, bike or van.
- they will charge an enforcement fee of £235.
If you do let a bailiff in but do not pay them they may take some of your belongings. They could sell the items to pay debts and cover their fees.
Remember, bailiffs can only force entry into a property if they have been inside the property before.
If they have, then they can use "reasonable force" by using a locksmith to get into your home.
They are allowed to try and get access to your property any day between 6am and 9pm.
We often hear from people that have received a text message or call saying the bailiff is sending the removal van and to return home immediately to be there when they remove goods. This is a scare tactic.
If you have had one of these messages, or if the bailiff is at your door, or has left a calling card, you should call the Bailiff Helpline on 0800 368 8133 immediately.
Free help with Bristow and Sutor!
Call the Bailiff helpline on 0800 36 88 133 (freephone), or fill in the quick form and we'll call you back and STOP that Bailiff!
What Bristow & Sutor bailiffs can and cannot take
Your council can order your employer to deduct a regular amount from your wages toward your unpaid Council Tax. This is called an Attachment of Earnings. If this causes you financial hardship, you can ask your council if they're willing to accept smaller payments.
Deductions from benefits
Your council may be able to apply for deductions from your benefits. £3.65 a week can be taken from income support, income based jobseekers allowance, income related employment and support allowance or pension credit.
Council Tax Bailiffs
Your council can send bailiffs to your home to seize property to sell.
The money raised goes towards paying your debt, plus costs.
The billing authority must send a letter two weeks before the bailiff’s first visit stating how much money you owe under the Liability Order.
You can contact the Council and the bailiffs and offer to come to an agreement on payments.
It’s important to do this straight away, because if the bailiffs make a visit their costs could be added to your bill.
Court hearing for Council Tax Arrears
If your council has tried using bailiffs but your Council Tax still isn’t paid in full, they may apply to the Magistate’s Court for a warrant committing you to prison.
The council will only take this step when other efforts have failed.
Before issuing a warrant of commitment the court must hold a means enquiry with you present.
A warrant will only be issued if the court is satisfied that the failure to pay is the result of wilful refusal or culpable neglect.
The maximum period of imprisonment is three months.
The court may decide to postpone the period of imprisonment on certain conditions, normally relating to payment of the debt over a period of time.
The court also has the power to remit all or part of the debt.
What to do next
Need help with your Council Tax debt?
Our specialists can quickly advise you on what to do if you have fallen behind with your Council Tax.
Simply call the team on 0800 36 88 133, or take the get out of debt test and discover your best solution.