LATEST: Bailiff freeze spreads to another big County Court in London

barnet county court

A large County Court in London has written to its legal clients to warn them that some of their scheduled evictions face being cancelled or rescheduled.

The announcement has been made by the Civil and Family Court in Barnet (main picture), one of the major hubs handling evictions in North London.

It says, as the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) press office has confirmed to LandlordZONE in recent days, that the delays are being caused by some court-appointed and paid bailiffs pulling out of ‘high risk’ evictions where they face possible injury to life and limb.

In these cases, the MoJ is struggling to provide personal protection equipment such as stab vests and other body armour and these evictions are therefore being stopped or delayed.


Barnet court says it is “sorry that this may affect your scheduled appointments but will ensure they are rebooked as soon as reasonably practicable”.

While this extraordinary situation would in normal times raise eyebrows, given the already long lead times for many landlords seeking to evict tenants, it has lead evictions expert Paul Shamplina (pictured), founder of Landlord Action, to warn that the bailiff system is now at risk of a severe crisis.

paul shapmplina

Saying the problems go back many years and that this latest blow is exacerbating existing structural weaknesses in the courts system, he adds: “This is just the beginning and without intervention the problem is going to get worse and worse.

“The historic lack of investment in the courts is now being compounded by changes in regulations and rising interest rates, sparking a landlord panic to exit the rental market.”

Landlord Action is calling on judges at County Courts to start granting leave to transfer more eviction cases with serious arrears to the High Court to share the burden of rising workload, as an increasing number of County Court bailiff evictions are being suspended.

Daren Simcox, CEO of High Court Writ Recovery, a private bailiff firm specialising in High Court writs and evictions across the UK, says the number of County Court bailiffs employed by courts to attend evictions has been waning as government policy has affected team sizes, meaning some bailiffs now cover multiple courts resulting in unmanageable workloads.


  1. Suits the current inept Gov as the longer they can keep people with roofs over their heads the longer they push the coming crisis into the long grass.
    Gov have no interest in speeding up the eviction process. They prefer to control your housing asset so they don’t have to house folk themselves.

  2. I’d be happy to get to the bailiffs stage or even get an answer or a sign of life from Dartford!! Section 21 i being scrapped is the least of my worries.

  3. I think we can expect more meddling from the government, I’m sure they must be monitoring the effect of the Scotland procedures, and acessing there potential impact down here.
    Landlords interest rate doubles, rent can’t double, landlord issues S21 or S8 to sell, tenant, stops paying rent. 12 months to get court action , Landlords in deep financial trouble. Rent freeze comes in and another 15% Landlords enter this stage. The only solution I see and it won’t happen, is for one of the big Landlord groups to push for non rent payment expenditure to be fully deducted from your tax contributions. We run this as a business but then on our self assessment it’s not, I feel for those that are going to have a crap time over the next year or two.

  4. Good for 95% of these slumlords ABOLISH section 21 yes..what i want to know is where is the lawyers for the tenants that are being put out of their homes with no one or no where to go what about them??..government is paying the rent to these slumlords and when you call housing they say that we should talk with citizen advice..wwooww i don’t know about you but if i’m paying rent for someone and their complaining about the treatment and the condition of the property Which isn’t up to standard i feel that those slumlords rent should be put on hold and an investigation should be done..instead the slumlords get away with alot of things..and coucil closes their eyes and push their heads in the sand..when are you all going to stop listening to these slumlords and listen to the tenants??’s like tennets have no rights to keep the roof over their families head..some of you need to switch places with the people that you all make homeless and say it’s their fault..when actually it’s housing fault cause they bully people by saying that if you don’t take this then you will be classified as intentionally homeless and from what i have and still going through it right waiting on the balifs letter…thanks London..

    • Serious question – if you live in a house that the landlord isn’t cleaning or maintaining, what’s stopping you finding a better landlord? Or cleaning and maintaining the house yourself?

      When my mum’s housing association home needed mould cleaning and painting, guess what I did. I cleaned and painted it. So why not leave? If it’s because you are getting a low price below current market prices, what do you think the discount is for? If the house is perfect and pristine, why should you pay below market prices? If it’s perfect, the landlord wouldn’t give you a discount, would he?

      I just don’t understand why you would deliberately choose to live in a mess when it’s so easy to clean and paint a house. If there’s damp, buy a dehumidifier or move. If there’s flaking paint, it’s £10 for a tub of paint. If the walls need cleaning, clean them. If you’re paying market rent and you don’t like the property, find a better deal from a better landlord.

      I just don’t understand. If you live there, why is someone else the only one capable of maintaining it? Why can’t we fix our own homes?

      What happened to personal responsibility?


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