Scotland doesn’t have bailiffs, but it does have Sheriff Officers, and they have the same rights and power as bailiffs do in the rest of the UK. When Council Tax arrears are due, and payment has not been made, the Council may pass the debt to Sheriff Officers to manage and collect. It’s important that you take action as quickly as possible if this happens.
What Powers Do Sheriff Officers Have?
Sheriff Officers are subjects of the court, and therefore debt enforcement and any subsequent entry to your home is all legal and above board. It can be scary to get that knock on the door, and to face giving up your possessions in order to pay your debts, but this could happen if you ignore demand letters from the Council or the Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff Officers are not police, and they do not have the power to arrest. However, they do have the power to remove items from your home, and they will usually have the support of the police if you resist entry or become confrontational or aggressive. Sheriff Officers will always bring legally binding documentation with them to prove you owe the debt, and which states they have the right to enter your home. You should always check this documentation before allowing Sheriff Officers into your home, and you also have the right to call the Sheriff’s Office prior to allowing officers into your property. Sheriff Officers do not have the right to force entry if you are not at home.