Judges Demand

Which goods are exempt and which good are not exempt from seizure?

Published On: 2nd June 2014

What is exempt

Bedding, clothing, furniture and provisions that the debtor and their family need for a basic level of domestic life remain exempt from seizure along with perishable goods such as refrigerated, food and fresh flowers etc.

The enforcement officer may take luxury items of value that are needed for basic domestic life and replace them with similar goods of a lower value.

Regulations now specify that any items reasonably required for the care of a person under 18, a disabled person or an older person (over 65) are exempt, as are assistance dogs, sheep dogs, guard dogs and domestic pets.

Vehicles which are exempt:

  • Vehicles with a valid disabled person’s badge
  • Vehicles used for police, fire or ambulance purposes
  • A vehicle with a valid British Medical Association badge or other health emergency badge because it is being used for health emergency purposes

Changes to tools of the trade exemption

Tools of the trade are defined as those items needed by the debtor to do their job or run their business, for example tools and vehicles etc. They may only be claimed if they are used solely by the debtor for their work, so a commercial van that is also used by their apprentice or spouse is available to be taken into control.

Tools of the trade cannot be claimed by partnerships or limited companies.

Changes to the regulations now mean that tools of the trade are only exempt to a value of £1,350 or below. Goods to that value can be claimed by the debtor, anything above that may seized by enforcement officers.

What can be taken into control

A wide range of goods within the debtor’s premises or on the highway can be seized as detailed below:

  • Vehicles, boats and aeroplanes
  • Stock and machinery
  • Household furniture
  • Jewellery
  • Art
  • Money, bank notes and promissory notes
  • Bonds, shares, securities and deeds
  • Livestock and animals
  • Firearms
  • Jointly owned property (goods owned by a married couple)
  • Items held by the police
  • Goods on finance (providing sale is agreed by the finance company)