Are you dealing with bailiffs but don’t know much about what they are allowed to do? Here are some facts about bailiffs operating in BC.

The law in BC

There are two different types of bailiffs in BC: licensed bailiffs and court-appointed bailiffs and they each have different rules they must follow.

Court bailiffs are appointed by the Attorney General under the Sheriff Act and they are legally authorized to enforce (civil) court orders. When bailiffs are not acting on a court order, they act as debt collectors, and they must be licensed with us and follow the debt collection and consumer protection laws that we oversee.

5 things to know about the bailiffs licensed and regulated by our office

  1. Aside from serving legal documents and collecting money owed, licensed bailiffs also seize or repossess property, or evict a tenant from a property.
  2. Licensed bailiffs must conduct themselves in a professional manner and they are not allowed to communicate in a way that qualifies as harassment (including using threatening, profane, intimidating or coercive language).
  3. Licensed bailiffs cannot remove personal property from a debtor’s home, without an adult resident of the home present.
  4. When collecting or attempting to collect a debt, a licensed bailiff is prohibited from supplying any false, or misleading information to the consumer or misrepresenting themselves in any way.
  5. A licensed bailiff is prohibited from moving property that has been repossessed, seized or distrained more than 100 KM from the location it was seized, repossessed, or distrained unless they received written consent from the debtor or the Director of Consumer Protection BC.

Where to go for help about bailiffs

If you want to know more about court-appointed bailiffs, you can visit the government of BC website. For more information about our licensed bailiffs and the rules they must follow, explore our Consumer Help page on bailiffs. You can check to see if a bailiff holds a licence with us by searching for their name on our website.

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About Consumer Protection BC

We are responsible for regulating specific sectors and certain consumer transactions in British Columbia. If your concern is captured under the laws we enforce, we will use the tools at our disposal to assist you. If we can’t help you directly, we will be happy to provide you with as much information as possible. Depending on your concern, another organization may be the one to speak to; other times, court or legal assistance may be the best option. Explore our website at