Disputing bailiffs fees. Detailed assessment hearing

You can ask the court to examine the bailiffs fees and charges


You don't even need to tell the bailiff company you are doing so, and you don't even need to go to court.

There are strict rules a bailiff must follow when charging fees, and if he makes a mistake the he is liable on an indemnity basis which means they will have to pay all your solicitors costs. This is why bailiffs must have indemnity insurance.


If your goods or vehicle has not been controlled, then only statutory fees can be charged.

If goods or a vehicle has been controlled using the Schedule 12 procedure, he can claim actual disbursements paid.


Council tax, traffic debts and court fines:

£75 compliance stage fee and £235 enforcement stage fee.

If the debt is more than £1500 then he can charge 7.5% exceeding £1500



High Court Writs:

Fees are £265. That is £75 compliance stage fee and £190 enforcement stage fee.

VAT is only chargeable on fees when the creditor is not VAT registered.

Otherwise the creditor reclaims the VAT element of the fees.

If you have been charged VAT on fees and the creditor is VAT registered, then you reclaim the VAT from the bailiff company in the small claims track giving this HMRC briefing note in evidence. A detailed assessment hearing cannot dispute VAT charges.



Bailiffs disbursements

If your goods or vehicle has been controlled, then a detailed assessment hearing can examine their costs in connection with selling them to pay the debt.

The bailiff cannot charge for storing goods. That is not expenses in connection with taking and selling goods to pay the debt.

A detailed assessment of enforcement fees does require legal competency and experience to prepare. The rules are prescribed in Civil Procedure Rule 84.16 and practice direction 84



What fees can be disputed

You must give evidence with your application.

The fixed fee £75 and £235 and £110 sale stage fee and costs charged are wrong in some way.

Fees and costs for services were charged AFTER the debt was paid

You were charged the £235 enforcement stage fee more than once in respect of multiple debts being recovered at the same time

The bailiff recovered fees while you are classed a vulnerable person and the bailiff failed to allow you sufficient time to seek advice before clamping or removing your vehicle or goods.

The bailiff wrongly calculated the 7.5% exceeding £1000 for high court writs, or exceeding £1500 for all other debts.


If your fee dispute is not listed above. You can only recover them in the small claims track.


Example fees and costs not dealt by a detailed assessment hearing


VAT charged on fees with a creditor that is VAT registered.



Holding your vehicle in a compound is not costs in connection with "enforcement" as defined in section 62(1) of the Tribunals Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 which states:

taking control of goods and selling them to recover a sum of money

Any disbursement charged to you that has not been paid by the bailiff or his company.



You need to gather the following:

1. Evidence of the warrant or writ. If the bailiff refuses to show the writ then you just need the judgment claim number.

2. Documents or receipts showing how much the bailiff has charged you.

3. Transactions for any sums already paid.

4. If applicable, evidence of being charged the £235 enforcement stage fee multiple times for simultaneous enforcement.

5. If applicable, evidence of being charged a £110 Sale stage fee when no goods have been taken under control using the Schedule 12 procedure.




If you would like to start work, contact me for a telephone consultation.

If doesn't matter if you have been overcharged just by £1, the disobedient party pays all your costs. Its called indemnity costs