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Writ Of Control | Is Enforcing against Director’s Home Office Possible Using High Court Enforcement?

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Under the Tribunals Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 High Court Enforcement Officers can enforce a Writ of Control at both the registered office and trading address of a company.


They cannot enforce a Writ of Control at the home of a director of a company against the personal assets of a director. Such is the protection afforded to directors by the concept of limited liability.


That said with more and more people working from home offices, then directors should be aware that this makes that part of their home open to attendance by a High Court Enforcement Agent. The home office becomes one of the places where the company carries on business.


Enforcement Law

Under paragraph 14 of Schedule 12 to the Tribunals Courts and Enforcement 2007 (TCEA 2007) an enforcement agent may enter “relevant premises” to search for and take control of goods.

Where there are different “relevant premises” enforcement agents are authorised to enter each one to search for and take control of goods.


Premises become “relevant” if the enforcement agent reasonably believes that they are the place, or one of the places, where the debtor either usually lives, or carries on a trade or business.


When attending such addresses, we ask our enforcement agents to film the reason they are standing outside a property and say directly to the camera why the address is relevant.


So, in a fictional case, our enforcement agents could attend 63 Acacia Avenue with background information often given to us by the Judgment Creditor, that the company operates from a home office.


The director may open the door and we may be allowed .to discuss the situation with the director. The director will be informed we are looking for a home office. So, whilst this is the director’s private home, it is not off-limits to be searched for evidence of the company trading from the address. We will only be looking for company records and goods belonging to the company in the home office.


In searching for goods, company records on a desk or in a filing cabinet, and even post arriving at the director’s home address for the company are all indications that goods in the home office are available to be taken into legal control.


To expand this thinking, if a room in 63 Acacia Drive has been converted into a home office, or the director has set a store of stock in the garage or converted a shed in the garden as an office – then all of these places come within the meaning of a place where the LIMITED COMPANY trades or carries on business. They can be searched, and goods can be taken into legal control.


Likewise, the company car on the drive of a director’s house can also be taken into legal control, although often a vehicle is subject to a finance agreement, and provided evidence is given this will be eliminated from enquiries.


Summing Up

We would like to reiterate that private homes of directors are not of themselves open to being searched. The High Court Enforcement Officer and her Enforcement Agents should have good reason to believe that the Judgment Debtor company is using part of the house, to run the company’s business.


Increasingly we are seeing instances where directors working from home come within the definition of “relevant premises”. It is often not a happy conversation when we arrive to enforce a Writ in this situation. But for the reasons explained above it is a lawful process covered by the Writ of Control.


This blog is a reminder for Judgment Creditors to seek the addresses of business customers, both home and business where possible and seek to establish if a company is in the curtilage of a director’s home.

Content Writer​


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Last updated | 19 July 2023

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