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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 70510
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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I have been contacted by a bailiff working on behalf of a local

Customer Question

I have been contacted by a bailiff working on behalf of a local authority. Last Tuesday they visited my home for the first time and left a letter requesting £191 for the fine amount, attendance to levy fee of £65 and an attendance to remove fee of £200. On the next day they left a letter adding a further £70 levy fee. I returned on the Thursday night having been away at my uncles funeral for a couple if days to this. The car was parked outside but I had sold it as I couldn't afford it any longer. Overnight on the Thursday/Friday, it had been clamped but no documentation left only s number which I called. They told me I now had to pay £840 within 24hrs. As confirmation to Dvla had gone to transfer ownership, once they had paid the road tax, the new owner removed the claim and drove off. Despite telling me I only had 24 hrs to pay they havent returned.

I wanted to check a) the max I must pay for a first visit (had I been here I would have just paid the fine)
b) if they can allow me such a short period of time to pay the debt
c) if they can increase costs so dramatically and d) if I am liable for the removal of the clamp by the current owner?
d) if I am liable to pay extra costs given that they didn't return when they said they would and on their last visit to clamp left only a number, no information about costs.

Many thanks.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: UK Traffic Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your question and welcome to Just Answer. My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

I'm really sorry but you are liable to pay. It might well be that you would have paid if you'd been there but you were not.

They can indeed give you a narrow window to pay.

You can always challenge a bailiffs fees at court. Since there has been an attendance here and a clamp £840 would not be an unusual amount of money.

Yes you are liable to pay despite them not returning When they said they would.

I am sorry but local council fines can spiral out of control very badly I'm afraid.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
As I understand the bailiffs first visit is an invitation to take payment and therefore they cannot charge removal fees at the same visit. Also on thay visit or beforehand I received no warrant of execution which I understand is not lawful?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
They can immobilise a car on a first visit. There is caselaw that suggests they cannot charge for it if the owner has not been asked to pay although it always turns in the facts of the case.

You should have received a warrant from Northampton but its quite unlikely that one was not sent. Thats not down to the bailiffs but to Northampton county court
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
So shouldn't they provide a warrant before attempting to remove goods?
Before I went away, the car had been bought by someone else and paperwork on its way to Swansea so the car wasn't even.mine when immobility.

So they can.charge fees without even notifying me?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
No, thats not what I said.

The warrant would have been sent by Northampton not the bailiffs. They bailiffs don't have to provide a copy and anyway could not as you were not there.

They can very definitely charge for the visit but might not be able to charge for immobilising the car.

Did you sell the car to a complete stranger?

I'm happy to continue with this but please rate my answer.