Abandoned levy, sometimes called
Regulations do not define levy abandonment but an authorative definition of levy
abandonment is available in the judgment of Bannister v Hyde  2 E&E 627. The judge said- "If the bailiff levies on goods then leaves
the premises without a signed walking-possession agreement
is evidence the levy has been abandoned". A walking possession agreement is now a Regulation 15 Controlled Goods Agreement.
Paragraph 54 of Schedule 12 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 and Regulation 47 of the Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2013 sets the rules bailiffs must follow in the event of abandoning the levy.
How the law says seizure of goods MUST work.
1. You are given a Notice of Enforcement at least seven clear days excluding Sundays and Public Holidays. Regulation 6 of the Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2013
2. Bailiff attends and one of the following can happen.
You pay the debt and statutory fees. The bailiff leaves, case closed.
The bailiff makes an Inventory of goods and makes out a compliant regulation 15 Controlled Goods Agreement and you must sign it.
Leave a person on the premises with
the goods or vehicle until either the above is done.
This arrangement is called a "Closed Possession"
If any of the above is not done, then it
becomes an abandoned levy and the seized
vehicle or goods are still yours and you are free to take
them away for safe keeping.
Closed possession is
when a person remains on the premises to hold the seized
goods, today this is rarely done.
Once this form is complete, the bailiff
has "levied" over your goods.
A High Court Enforcement Officer will use
a regulation 15 walking-possession agreement.
If you do not sign the Controlled Goods
Agreement and the bailiff leaves the premises without
taking the seized goods or vehicle, the levy becomes what is called, an abandoned levy and breaking entry cannot be lawfully
made at a later date.
Bailiffs have a belief that wheel clamping a vehicle
is a substitute for closed possession but there is no case
authority or regulation supporting this.
If a bailiff or HCEO uses a wheel clamp on your vehicle, you can legally remove the clamp using bolt cutters and take the
vehicle - even if you signed a Regulation 15 Controlled Goods Agreement listing the vehicle on it.
A debtor-signed Controlled Goods
Agreement does not entitle the bailiff to deprive you the
continued normal use of the levied goods or vehicle while
it remains in your possession (unless you breach the terms of the repayment agreement), so there is no criminal
liability if you remove a wheel clamp using bolt cutters
from the levied vehicle.
NOTE: If the levy on
goods is invalid e.g the document is not compliant with the law, and the bailiff has left the premises,
this creates an abandoned levy. Check the list of grounds
that constitutes an invalid
There is also lots of further case authority that defines levy abandonment.