Bailiff Advice Guide

A free resource with all the information you need to handle bailiffs properly.

Key Facts

Your Rights

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Bailiff Debts

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Resources

The UK's First Bailiff Relief Charity.

We are a charity that helps people who are facing bailiff action.

Our aim is to aid the prevention or relief of poverty amongst persons who are in debt.

Controlled Goods Agreement

An agreement to pay or risk losing the goods listed.


A Controlled Goods Agreement is an agreement between yourself and a bailiff that if you do not pay the debts owed the bailiff has right to seize your goods.  our belongings are therefore in the control of the bailiff for as long as the debt they are trying to recover exists.

If you are presented with a controlled goods agreement make sure you check it to ensure it has all the information it should:

  • The Controlled Goods Agreement must be signed by you or by someone else who has permission to act on your behalf.
  • The Bailiff must sign the agreement as well.
  • If the agreement has been signed by someone who is acting on your behalf, a copy of the agreement must be sent to your home and your business address (if you have one).
  • A Controlled Goods Agreement may be combined with an inventory if the bailiff has already taken full control of some of your goods.
  • An agreement may not be signed or agreed to by a child under the age of 18.
  • An agreement may not be signed or agreed to by someone who does not have your permission.

If the Controlled Goods Agreement that you have been given does not follow the rules the bailiff will not be able to take control of your goods.  You will also be able to take a bailiff to court, make a formal complaint and refuse entry to your home.

Here's how to spot if a CGA (Controlled Goods Agreement) is genuine. The agreement must contain this information:

  • Date the CGA was agreed
  • Full names of those entering the agreement, typically yourself and the bailiff.
  • Your full name and address
  • A reference number
  • Contact details for the bailiff company including telephone number, address and their hours of business.
  • A complete list of all the goods the bailiff is taking control of.  Each item should include enough information for you to be able to identify without doubt the item in question.  This information may include make or serial numbers, the manufacturer or colour.
  • Finally the CGA must detail exactly what the bailiff is demanding you pay back.


If your controlled goods agreement breaks one of the rules above the bailiff will not have control of your belongings. If this occurs you are able to:

  • Refuse entry to the bailiff.  The bailiff is not allowed to force entry.
  • Make clear to the bailiff company in writing that you will not be making payments under the controlled goods agreement because it is not valid.
  • If your goods have already been taken you can take a bailiff to court to get your goods back.


A dodgy controlled goods agreement can also mean you've got more time to negotiate with your creditor or set up a formal debt solution.  We can help you do this.   The bailiff is allowed to issue you with an amended CGA and if you sign this you will have to make the payments as agreed.

The UK's First Bailiff Relief Charity.

We are a charity that helps people who are facing bailiff action.

Our aim is to aid the prevention or relief of poverty amongst persons who are in debt.