BRISTOW AND SUTOR

Quash the Liability Order. Suspend Enforcement. Disputing Liabilities. Claim Damages for Misuse of Enforcement Power.
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LUCYLOCKET
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#1 BRISTOW AND SUTOR

Post by LUCYLOCKET » 27 Jan 2016 19:52

Hi

This afternoon Bristow and Sutor were witnessed, (by a neighbour), searching my sons garden pots etc for a house key - not that they leave one! They left them upturned and destroyed.

This same bailiff makes two visits each day he comes within half an hour or so......?

This is surely illegal and needs reporting!?

Please advise as I wish to help him sort this bailiff out.

Excellent site and help as usual here.

Thank you x

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#2 Re: BRISTOW AND SUTOR

Post by Pote Snitkin » 27 Jan 2016 20:17

Leave a fake key in a pot and get the neighbour to film them trying to use it.
It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority. - Benjamin Franklin

On 22/2/17, Peterbard said "taking control of goods and selling them does not actually mean taking control of goods and selling them." Discuss.

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#3 Re: BRISTOW AND SUTOR

Post by LUCYLOCKET » 28 Jan 2016 00:07

Wow, never thought of that one.

What would happen to them in this instance? Are they not allowed to try and use a key in the lock etc?

Thank you

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#4 Re: BRISTOW AND SUTOR

Post by Pote Snitkin » 28 Jan 2016 09:23

There are some old case laws. If a bailiff finds a key in a lock, he can use it; otherwise he cannot. It would be interesting to see what would happen if the bailiff is caught on camera acting illegally.
It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority. - Benjamin Franklin

On 22/2/17, Peterbard said "taking control of goods and selling them does not actually mean taking control of goods and selling them." Discuss.

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#5 Re: BRISTOW AND SUTOR

Post by jasonDWB » 28 Jan 2016 11:07

There is indeed.

The use of a landlord's key to gain entry is unlawful, Miller v Curry [1893] likewise if the key is found but is not in the lock, entry would be unlawful, Welch v Krakovsky [1919]

Improper use of keys to gain entry is illegal, Alford v Thrupp [1906] 67 EG 226

If a key is in the lock, the bailiff may gain entry using the key, Ryan v Shilcock [1851] 7 Exch 72

The damage to the pots is an offence under section 1 of the Criminal Damage Act 1970. It can be reported in writing to police and your neighbour will need to make a statement. Police are not enthusiastic about prosecuting bailiffs no matter the seriousness the offence.
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#6 Re: BRISTOW AND SUTOR

Post by LUCYLOCKET » 28 Jan 2016 14:42

Thank you for your help and support. I will be at the house alot from today onwards and the neighbour has agreed to film etc and do a statement if required.

If we refuse to deal with them what can they do - they cant force us to. The payments are being sent to the council and I will deal with the bailiff myself. Not putting up with this.

Thank you x

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#7 Re: BRISTOW AND SUTOR

Post by LUCYLOCKET » 28 Jan 2016 16:20

p.s

Bristow are not magistrate court bailiffs are they in this case as this is a council tax matter - so they have no more powers than a debt collector right?

Is council tax arrears/Liability Orders a civil/county court matter?

Bit confused.

Thank you x

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#8 Re: BRISTOW AND SUTOR

Post by Pote Snitkin » 28 Jan 2016 18:15

They have slightly more powers - they can peacefully enter a property and take control of goods. A debt collector cannot do that. However, as the debt is a civil one you can refuse the bailiff entry, but they will target items of value outside, ie a car.
It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority. - Benjamin Franklin

On 22/2/17, Peterbard said "taking control of goods and selling them does not actually mean taking control of goods and selling them." Discuss.

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#9 Re: BRISTOW AND SUTOR

Post by Mark1960 » 28 Jan 2016 18:39

Pote Snitkin wrote:They have slightly more powers - they can peacefully enter a property and take control of goods. A debt collector cannot do that. However, as the debt is a civil one you can refuse the bailiff entry, but they will target items of value outside, ie a car.
Beat me to it Pote. B&S obviously have more powers in terms of the ability to take control of goods. In terms of visiting a debtor, the powers are no different from those of a debt collector. As you said, they need permission to enter. They are entitled to assume implied right of access if an external door is unlocked, OR, if an occupier moves away from the front door, leaving it unguarded. I doubt that a debt collector would be permitted to assume this implied right of access.

I would just say to Lucy that paying the council directly is opening a can of worms because it won't stop B&S. The quickest way to stop B&S is not pay anything to anyone and inform the council of this. Add that when the debt is recalled, you will be happy to pay the council directly. Of course, in the mean time, you should put the money that you would have paid aside somewhere-Preferably into a savings account/ISA. This way, you will have a bit of money behind you when the negotiating with the council starts.

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#10 Re: BRISTOW AND SUTOR

Post by LUCYLOCKET » 29 Jan 2016 18:08

Hello both and thank you so much!

Ok that is a great help to us - when Bristow realise I mean business they should go back to the council then and then we will set up the payments directly. Do you know how long this will take - to return it to council I mean. I have written a very stern letter to bailiff and the council informing them we will absolutely not deal with the bailiff at all under any circumstances. There is zero chance of getting in either, as I have ensured everything is doubly secured etc. They also have a massive dog and there is a clear sign on the door with his photo so they would be extremely stupid to enter! oh dear......

all the best and thank you again
x

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#11 Re: BRISTOW AND SUTOR

Post by LUCYLOCKET » 31 Jan 2016 18:29

The quickest way to stop B&S is not pay anything to anyone and inform the council of this. Add that when the debt is recalled, you will be happy to pay the council directly. Of course, in the mean time, you should put the money that you would have paid aside somewhere-Preferably into a savings account/ISA. This way, you will have a bit of money behind you when the negotiating with the council starts.

P.S

Please can I just ask - regarding the first line of the above.....what shall I inform the council of? Will Bristows just send it back to the council when they realise we mean business? We will not entertain them at all ever....so they are wasting their time. I have looked but cannot find any law/legislation that says we have to deal with them - is there anything?

Thank you all for everything, Son and his girlfriend have had a better weekend because of you all and your support. x

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#12 Re: BRISTOW AND SUTOR

Post by Mark1960 » 31 Jan 2016 18:52

There is no easy way to get rid of a bailiff unless you pay him in full.

The power to enforce lasts for 12 months from the time you receive a notice of enforcement. If you pay the council directly, they will have their money and won't care if B&S continue to visit you or not-There is no incentive for the council to stop them, so you will have the shadow of visits hanging over you for 12 months.

If you pay nothing to anyone, B&S will give up at some point-Maybe 2 months, maybe 3, maybe 4. They WILL give up though and pass it back to the council, well within the 12 month timescale that you would have to see through if you paid the council. When the debt is returned, the fees are legally removed from the account.

If you want to avoid the fees, the best thing to do is write to the council and tell them what you are doing. Tell them that you are not legally obliged to deal with the bailiff and that there is no financial incentive for you to do so. Tell them you will be dealing directly and that they should contact you when the debt is returned, in order to agree an affordable repayment plan. Stick the money that you would have paid into an ISA and earn yourself a bit of interest whilst the council chase shadows.

I think theres a template letter somewhere that I drafted for these situations.

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#13 Re: BRISTOW AND SUTOR

Post by jasonDWB » 31 Jan 2016 20:15

The £75 compliance stage fee is owed because regulation 5(1)(a) of the Taking Control of Goods (Fees) Regulations 2014 says:
the compliance stage, which comprises all activities relating to enforcement from the receipt by the enforcement agent of instructions to use that procedure in relation to a sum to be recovered up to but not including the commencement of the enforcement stage;


It means the fees (if otherwise complaint) is validated on the date the bailiff is instructed. That is not the date the bailiff company is instructed. An enforcement agent is defined under section 63(2) of the Tribunals Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 to be

An individual may act as an enforcement agent only if he acts under a certificate under section 64;

 

However, regulations do not enable a bailiff to take control of goods to recover fees without having a warrant of control. Section 62(2) of the Tribunals Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 says:

The power conferred by a writ or warrant of control to recover a sum of money, and any power conferred by a writ or warrant of possession or delivery to take control of goods and sell them to recover a sum of money, is exercisable only by using that procedure.

Put simply:

You owe the £75 or any other fees incurred,, but the bailiff cannot take control of goods to recover them. Its a civil debt just like any other debt.

Regulation 4(3) of the Taking Control of Goods (Fees) Regulations 2014 says:

The enforcement agent may recover under this regulation the whole fee provided in the Schedule for a stage where the amount outstanding is paid after the commencement, but before the completion, of that stage.

 

That proves the bailiff is unable to charge a further enforcement stage fee if he tries recovering an existing compliance stage by attending.

Also, guideline 31 of the Taking Control of Goods: National Standards 2014 says:

Enforcement agents must not seek to enforce the recovery of fees where an enforcement power has ceased to be exercisable.

You can base a letter on the above and escalate if the council disregards it,
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#14 Re: BRISTOW AND SUTOR

Post by LUCYLOCKET » 04 Feb 2016 11:28

Good morning,

Thank you all for the above - smashing.

The Council have written back and point blank refused to acknowledge the complaint and stated they are refusing to deal with us and that we should deal with the bailiff - end of. The are saying if you have a complaint - complain to the bailiffs! How can this be in anyway fair?

Clearly we wont be doing that....

It is my understanding that the council are liable for the conduct of the bailiff so they should accept and deal with a formal complaint?
The council are getting weekly payments.

Is there any law/legislation that states any of us have to deal with private bailiffs chasing council tax?

All the best to everyone x

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#15 Re: BRISTOW AND SUTOR

Post by Pote Snitkin » 04 Feb 2016 11:43

Remind these dimwits of section 4.5 of this document - https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/s ... rrears.pdf
It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority. - Benjamin Franklin

On 22/2/17, Peterbard said "taking control of goods and selling them does not actually mean taking control of goods and selling them." Discuss.

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#16 Re: BRISTOW AND SUTOR

Post by Mark1960 » 04 Feb 2016 11:54

You are absolutely correct. The bailiffs are acting purely as agents of the council, in much the same way that a builder or any other outside body who is employed to provide a service.

You should now reply, heading your letter "Formal Complaint-Stage 2"

Inform the idiot who replied to your original complaint that he/she is obliged to investigate, as pre Section 26 of the Local Government Act 1974 (LGA):

26Matters subject to investigation.
(1)
Subject to the provisions of this Part of this Act where a written complaint is made by or on behalf of a member of the public who claims to have sustained injustice in consequence of maladministration in connection with action taken by or on behalf of an authority to which this Part of this Act applies, being action taken in the exercise of administrative functions of that authority, a Local Commissioner may investigate that complaint.
Tell them that you shall not be wasting your time asking B&S to investigate themselves and that should you fail to be satisfied with the councils handling of this matter, the case will then be forwarded to the LGO. The council should be left in no doubt that the onus is placed firmly upon themselves to investigate the actions of their agents. Section 25 of the LGA states (subsections 6 & 7):
(6) Subsection (7) has effect where an authority to which this part of this act applies exercises a function entirely or partly by means of an arrangement with another person.

(7) For the purposes of this part of this act, action taken by or on behalf of the other person in carrying out the arrangement shall be treated as action taken – on behalf of the authority, and in the exercise of the authority’s function.
There is of course no law that obliges you to deal with bailiff companies and you are quite within your rights not to do so.

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#17 Re: BRISTOW AND SUTOR

Post by LUCYLOCKET » 04 Feb 2016 12:04

Wow

Thank you both!!

You have no idea how much help you have all been. Letter being drafted right now!!

I will update on here so I can help others too.

Thank you xx

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#18 Re: BRISTOW AND SUTOR

Post by LUCYLOCKET » 05 Feb 2016 08:35

I wrote a letter to the council - very stern and one to my mates at Bristows!

Turns out they are chasing without a Liability Order!! As my Son and lovely girlfriend were students from the point they are demanding payment - no liability actually exists!! I went through all the paperwork with a fine tooth comb and it just does not stack up - the council have all the wrong details!

I am furious and now gunning for the bailiff especially due to their appalling conduct.

One question - what are the correct stages of Enforcement Notices? - we have several.........Notification of Enforcement Agent Visit then Enforcement Visit Warning - what is the difference please? Plus are there supposed to be certain time limits between each Notice/Visit?

Will keep you posted - council will have got their letter today.

Thank you again xx

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#19 Re: BRISTOW AND SUTOR

Post by Mark1960 » 05 Feb 2016 15:19

The Notices are B&S own design. There is no restrictions on when a bailiff may return.

Just a point regarding students. I Often find that students in their last year are entitled to council tax relief up untill around 2weeks after term has ended. After that the tax becomes payable. If they haven't told the council that they left the address, it could be that a debt has built up without them knowing

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#20 Re: BRISTOW AND SUTOR

Post by LUCYLOCKET » 05 Feb 2016 18:41

Hello Mark 1960,

Thats great - thank you very much. I will check again about their dates as I think you have a good point there.

Have a good weekend and thanks again. :) :)

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#21 Re: BRISTOW AND SUTOR

Post by LUCYLOCKET » 09 Feb 2016 15:20

Hello All,

It turns out that they were not due to pay any council tax and there is no valid liability order!!

Stern letters have gone out! Formal Complaints lodged!

Will keep you posted :)

Thank you x

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#22 Re: BRISTOW AND SUTOR

Post by LUCYLOCKET » 26 Feb 2016 14:00

Hello :)

I just wanted to write and say a big thank you to ALL OF YOU who helped us have the confidence to stand up to these morons.

This morning we received a letter from B&S to say they are passing our case back to the Council! They know we have firm evidence of their misconduct and are walking away!

The Council got their facts wrong and were claiming much more than they were supposed to - but I have sorted this and now the correct payment is being paid directly to the council. They have thanked us for the payments and referred our complaint to the head of revenues.

The council did, however, continue to 'encourage' us, some six times to deal with B&S - but we point blank refused and stood firm. I asked them to provide the law/proof that we HAD TO deal with Bristows - none was forthcoming funny enough.....

Bristow's also confirmed they are not Bailiffs but just Enforcement Agents - which to me is nothing more than a glorified debt collector.

I understand that if things come from a Magistrates/Court Fines that a real Bailiff is appointed and he has different 'powers' - but it needs to be shouted from the rooftops that in cases like our - Bristow's are nobodies. And with them help from on here, people can stop suffering such fear of what is actually just a wannabe moron trying to throw his weight about because he is a peewee.

Many thanks for everyone :) xx

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#23 Re: BRISTOW AND SUTOR

Post by jasonDWB » 26 Feb 2016 15:01

Under schedule 12 a court fines bailiff has the same enforcement power as a council tax bailiff with the exception the liability order does not confer a power to enter premises.

Well done on getting your case fixed Mark1960 & pote.

Solving a bailiff problem has a new name. Mark1960-Pote syndrome. Must enter that into wonkeypedia.
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#24 Re: BRISTOW AND SUTOR

Post by Pote Snitkin » 26 Feb 2016 16:58

So writing letters of complaint has worked once again. This won't go down well in a certain forum.
It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority. - Benjamin Franklin

On 22/2/17, Peterbard said "taking control of goods and selling them does not actually mean taking control of goods and selling them." Discuss.

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#25 Re: BRISTOW AND SUTOR

Post by jasonDWB » 26 Feb 2016 17:16

Nor this one, writing letters is a sin and deprived bailiffs and their CAG followers of their feelings.
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#26 Re: BRISTOW AND SUTOR

Post by LUCYLOCKET » 07 Mar 2017 12:28

Just to update this post

Bristows sent the case back to the Council and they dealt directly when I pointed out that they, (the Council), should AT ANY POINT be prepared to deal directly with the Council Tax payer! It says their in their own Guidelines. Bristows didn't like the Complaint one bit and just got rid if us quick smart.


:)

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#27 Re: BRISTOW AND SUTOR

Post by jasonDWB » 07 Mar 2017 12:57

Guidelines do not apply when they contradict the operation of a point of law.
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#28 Re: BRISTOW AND SUTOR

Post by dawnpeggy » 16 Mar 2017 00:33

Hi,

Urgent advice needed.
My mum had a call from Bristow & suitor yesterday stating an enforcement officer was going to visit sometime this week.
Mum fell behind with her council tax to the sum of £650 back in 2014 and managed to pay it off £25 per week. She used the Bristow and Suitor website to make these payments and we have the email receipts still so can prove this debt has been paid.
She is retired and survives on the state pension and is in receipt of pension credit so gets helps with her council tax. She pays her council tax religiously now over the phone using the automated system.
Could she still owe money for her council tax to Cheshire east/Bristow and Suitor and not know about it?
Luckily I still live at home and I work from home so I will be around when they turn up eventually. What rights does she have or any advice please?

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#29 Re: BRISTOW AND SUTOR

Post by GDB » 16 Mar 2017 11:51

In the first instance you need to speak with the Council and find out what is owing if any, ask for a breakdown if appropriate.

Then come back to the forum with an update.

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#30 Re: BRISTOW AND SUTOR

Post by LUCYLOCKET » 30 Mar 2017 10:46

jasonDWB wrote:
07 Mar 2017 12:57
Guidelines do not apply when they contradict the operation of a point of law.
Hi,

Sorry, I don't quite understand what you mean? Thank you

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#31 Re: BRISTOW AND SUTOR

Post by Amy » 30 Mar 2017 11:14

LUCYLOCKET wrote:
30 Mar 2017 10:46
jasonDWB wrote:
07 Mar 2017 12:57
Guidelines do not apply when they contradict the operation of a point of law.
Hi,

Sorry, I don't quite understand what you mean? Thank you
It means the guidelines are there for when the law is being followed correctly. Therefore, guidelines cannot apply when the law is not being followed correctly [by the bailiffs].

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#32 Re: BRISTOW AND SUTOR

Post by LUCYLOCKET » 30 Mar 2017 11:35

Hi Amy,

So the Council only have to follow those Guidelines if the Bailiff is adhering to the law?

So sorry for being thick - I just cant get my head round this?

:)

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#33 Re: BRISTOW AND SUTOR

Post by jasonDWB » 30 Mar 2017 11:45

Bailiffs have to comply with the law. There is a legal hierarchy, as follows:
  • 1. Act of Parliament.
    2. Regulations
    3. Rules of Court (Civil Procedure Rules)
    4. Practice Directions (<< might not be binding in the High Court - awaiting a decision after a solicitor representing a bailiff tried to persuade a High Court Master to go behind a Practice Direction)
    5. Official government guidelines
    6. Case law in the High Court
    7. Only persuasive. District or circuit judge in a county court.
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#34 Re: BRISTOW AND SUTOR

Post by Pote Snitkin » 30 Mar 2017 12:54

Guidelines cannot over-ride what the law says. If a guideline is not compatible with what legislation or case law says, then the guideline can be ignored.
It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority. - Benjamin Franklin

On 22/2/17, Peterbard said "taking control of goods and selling them does not actually mean taking control of goods and selling them." Discuss.

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#35 Re: BRISTOW AND SUTOR

Post by Gaztam1 » 06 Apr 2017 09:07

Hi
A little insight for all here.
Our not so friendly firm visited last night at 21:30 to try and remove goods or £200 to settle my case for wton council.in December my wage dropped £200 pcm I called and emailed bristow and sutor to advise I'd just be able to pay £10 less than agreed all notes apparently updated.
I paid my monthly last week and have never defaulted may I add.

However the agent was clear he wasn't going until full payment and wasn't bothered with evidence provided of communication and tried to say he would call police and locksmith even after I shown him correct rules online he wasn't having it at this point my wife and children were shearing my chat to the agent and during the 10 mins I had to find £200 my wife urged me just to pay as she was very scared that our possessions were going however knowing I could pay but through principal I tried my luck as the agent had a previous CGA ATTACHMENT from 9 months ago I read his CGA and nothing which was brand named was in property as been changed I invited him in as dark outside to remove what was listed he looked at list and was speechless as not there he then asked can I make payment as he was not winning with intimidation I did pay my balance as closed damn case.

However please if anyone contacts b&s head office get a concrete agreement as they will change the rules to benefit them and as end of tax year they will stamp down.

No people skills or common sense

Hope this helps anyone

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