Controlled goods agreement

A controlled goods agreement is used to secure the debtor’s goods when the enforcement agent leaves them at the debtor’s premises during enforcement. It was previously known as a walking possession agreement, and was amended as part of the Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2013 and Part 3 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007.

Leaving controlled goods at the debtor’s premises

When an enforcement agent (EA) attends a debtor’s premises, his objective will be to obtain payment in full; however, that is not always possible and the EA may take partial payment and an arrangement for payment of the balance in one or more installments. When this happens, the EA will take a detailed inventory of the goods he will take into control, which he estimates are likely to raise sufficient funds when sold at auction to pay the debt, judgment interest, court fees and enforcement fees. If the EA has reason to believe that the goods are in jeopardy, he may remove them, but in many cases, he will leave them with the debtor. If this is the case, the debtor will be required to sign the controlled goods agreement. Under the controlled goods agreement, the debtor agrees to not remove or dispose of the goods, or to allow anyone else to do so. It is a criminal offence to interfere with controlled goods.

The details of the controlled goods agreement

The controlled goods agreement must be in writing and containing the:
  • Name and address of the debtor
  • Reference number and date of the agreement
  • Name of the persons entering into the agreement
  • Contact details for the EA and hours when he, or his office, may be contacted
  • Detailed inventory
  • Terms of the payment arrangement agreed between the EA and the debtor
The agreement must be signed by the EA and either:
  • The debtor
  • A person authorised by the debtor
  • The person in apparent authority
A minor under the age of 18 cannot sign the agreement. If the person who signs is not the debtor, then the EA must also provide the debtor with a copy of the agreement.

Re-attendance to inspect or remove

Once a controlled goods agreement is in place, the EA may re-attend the property to inspect the goods or to remove them for sale, if the agreement has been breached. The debtor cannot prevent the EA from entering the premises to inspect or remove the goods covered by the agreement. The agreement will remain in place until the debt, and associated judgment interest and fees, has been fully discharged.

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