Providing efficient and effective service to local authorities, Magistrates’ Courts and private landlords since 2002

Help Q&A

Who are London Warrant Enforcement?

London Warrant Enforcement, LWE and LWE Collections are all under the umbrella of London Warrant Enforcement Ltd. The former was initially set up to execute arrest warrants for Council Tax arrears due to several west London local authorities, namely Kensington & Chelsea, Hammersmith & Fulham, Ealing, Hounslow and Hillingdon. We also enforce liability orders issued by Magistrates Courts for local taxation debts. 

London Warrant Enforcement Ltd is registered at Companies House which is an executive agency of the British Government, under Company number 04388195, our Registered Office is at 20-22 Wenlock Road, London N1 7GU. We are registered for VAT at that address under no. 795 5075 86. We are registered under the Data Protection Act, reference Z8501150 with the Information Commissioners Office.



Why have you contacted me?

We have contacted you because a local authority has instructed us to collect an outstanding balance from you, this would usually be for either Council Tax, Business Rate or a Business Improvement District Levy. Our sister company LWE Collections would have contacted you about a sundry debt such as an overpayment of housing benefit, commercial waste collection or another amount owed.

Stage 1 - Notice of Enforcement

On receipt of a creditors instruction a notice of enforcement will be sent to a debtor. This will either be electronically by SMS and/or e-mail and/or by first class post and gives seven clear days (doesn’t include Sunday or bank holidays) in which to pay the outstanding amount or make a suitable agreement (this criteria is set by the creditor), if this is not done or the letter ignored then an agent will then attend the debtors premises. Once this letter is served on the debtor all of their goods are bound. This means they are not allowed to sell any of their assets or transfer the title. Please do not contact us regarding your liability eg. you don’t owe the money. This is a matter between you and the creditor (who it is claimed you owe the money to). Their details can be found on the Notice of Enforcement.


This is wrong, I’ve dealt with this!

Regrettably we are unable to assist you. You will need to contact the creditor about this as we are unable to make any changes to the amount you owe or hold action unless specifically instructed. We suggest you contact them by telephone as it may take some time to reply if you write to them. Their phone no. can be found on the Notice of Enforcement we have sent you in the post or by clicking on the link to view the document in the e-mail or SMS that we sent you.


This isn’t me, the address is wrong!

This occurs sometimes especially in high transient areas like London. It can be annoying, is unfortunate and we do apologise for bothering you, you are under no obligation to contact us to let us know that the person we are pursuing doesn’t live at your address but it would prevent an unnecessary visit to your premises. We kindly ask that you e-mail us at adding the 5 digit case reference no. in the subject field, briefly explain that the person we are pursuing doesn’t live at your address, if they were the previous occupant and aware of their whereabouts then this would be useful.


What do I do Now?

If you have had a Notice of Enforcement from us either by e-mail, SMS or post then you have a certain amount of time to respond, this is called the Compliance Stage, a charge of £75 is added to each case instructed on receipt from the creditor and you will have seven working days to either settle the debt in full or make a suitable arrangement to pay, the criteria for this would depend on what part of the financial year we are in but will range between three and six months. The aim is for you to settle any financial year debt ahead of the end of the financial year which runs from April to March. Under no circumstances will we allow you to pay less than what your usual Council Tax instalments would be if you were paying the creditor the instalments shown on the bill that you have defaulted on. Your first payment would need to be made before the expiry of the Compliance Stage which is given on the communication you have received from us. If we do not hear from and the amount due is still outstanding and a suitable payment arrangement is not in place, then your case will progress to the next stage which is called the Enforcement Stage, a minimum fee of £235 is added to the debt for a first attendance at your premises.


How do we contact you? 

We do not believe in chatbots so each communication with us will be with a human being and a UK based LWE employee. For cases that have been passed through the Magistrates Court and you are in the UK then contact us on our free to call number 0800 086 9089, if you are calling from outside the UK or about a sundry debt being handled by our debt collection agency LWE Collections then its (+44) 020 3627 2584.

Calls are answered Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm, the average waiting time is just 77 seconds. If you want to leave us a message then this can be done 24/7 by pressing option 2, quote your case ref no. when calling and a number to call you back on with a suitable time, however 92% of you choose to speak with us direct.

You can e-mail us at, you will usually receive a response the same day or the latest the next day, please ensure you quote your case reference no. in the subject field and sign off with your name and address. We won’t be able to reply to unidentified e-mail addresses.

If you wish to appoint somebody to deal with this on your behalf either, call us, make sure the other person is with you so that we can set this up. Alternatively, e-mail us with the details and we can deal with the appointed person going forward.

When E-mailing us quote the 5 digit case reference no. in the subject field.


Stages of Enforcement

This is when a Certificated Enforcement Agent will visit your premises to assess your circumstances and make a diligent search to establish if you have sufficient goods to sell that would satisfy the debt. An arrangement may be possible at this stage once the agent has assessed your circumstances. We may require you to complete an income and expenditure form to show what income you have and how you are prioritising payment of essential bills. A minimum charge is applied to your debt of £235 as per current legislation.

Stage 2 - Enforcement Stage

A visit can be made to any address within England and Wales 7 days of the week including bank holidays between 6am and 9pm (or the usual business hours of a commercial premises that falls outside of these hours such as a night club/café) where it is believed the debtor can be contacted or has goods that can be taken control of. A fee is charged for this visit of a fixed fee (can only be charged once) of £235 (£190 for High Court writs) plus a 7.5 percentage of any amount of £1,500 (£1,000 on High Court writs). These amounts will be charged whether contact is made or not. At this stage the agent may take control of goods, this can be done if you are not at the premises but can not be done if the only occupant is under 18 years of age or is a vulnerable person. If our agent believes the goods are in jeopardy or meets any resistance the process may move to stage 3 otherwise an arrangement could be made over a longer period extending from 12 weeks mentioned in stage 1. It may be necessary for the debtor or their representative to sign a controlled goods agreement. Section 8 of Schedule 12 of the Tribunal Courts & Enforcement Act 2007 states that it is a criminal offence if a person intentionally interferes with controlled goods without lawful excuse. A person guilty of an offence under this paragraph is liable on summary conviction to: (a) Imprisonment for a term not exceeding 51 weeks or: (b) A fine not exceeding level 4 on the standard scale or c) Both. A PDF file of schedule 12 can be found at the foot of this page.


What happens if I refuse to let the Enforcement Agent into my property?

Enforcement Agents can gain peaceful entry, it is best to co-operate as the debt will not go away and can increase if you choose to ignore or avoid it and further action is necessary. If there is genuine hardship we can help you with this, please see our hardship and vulnerability page.


Fees that can be added to your debt

As explained in previous sections fees are added and recoverable. The Compliance Stage fee is £75 on each case instructed and a further minimum fee of £235 can be added should it be necessary to visit you. An additional 7.5% of anything due on your overall debt over £1,500 will be added to the enforcement fee. For example, if you owe £2,225 then we would add a further £55 (7.5% of the amount over £1,500) to the fixed fee of £235. Please see table below-

Fees recoverable under regulation 4 of

The Taking Control of Goods (Fees) Regulations 2014


Fee Stage

Fixed Fee

Percentage fee (regulation 7): percentage of sum to be recovered exceeding £1500

Compliance stage



Enforcement stage



Sale or disposal stage




What happens if I choose to pay the creditor direct?

Two of the most frequent enquiries received at Bailiff Advice Online is whether or not bailiff fees can be avoided by paying the principal debt (minus bailiff fees) to the creditor and whether an enforcement agent can continue enforcement for their fees. This following paragraph answers both these questions:

Most local authorities will pass the entire payment to the enforcement company while some others are known to deduct the compliance fee. Either way, the local authority will advise the enforcement company of the part payment so that their records can be amended to reflect the  part payment. Once an instruction has been passed to the enforcement agency, Enforcement Agent fees become part of the overall debt and accordingly, if payment is made to the creditor direct of just the principal debt minus the fees, then any payment made is merely a part payment and enforcement can legally continue to recover the balance. It is the policy of London Warrant Enforcement Ltd to recover all fees.


What is a Controlled Goods Agreement

This is where we make a list of items of value onto a form and you sign an agreement that you will pay to a specific schedule. This is security for the creditor, whilst this is in place another Enforcement Agent may not take control of these items. The goods remain in your possession for use whist you pay your debt, should you default they can be removed and sold to satisfy the debt.


The goods taken into control or removed belong to somebody else!

Where an enforcement agent receives a dispute that goods taken control of are exempt then a claim should be made in writing to the enforcement agent by the claimant within seven days of removal of the goods.

The claim should contain:

  • the claimant’s full name and address and that the address their address for service;
  • a list of all those goods in respect of which they make such a claim; and
  • the grounds of the claim in respect of each item.

Upon receipt of such a claim the enforcement agent should within three days of receipt send the claim to the creditor for them to admit or dispute.

The creditor has a further seven days to respond to the enforcement agent whether they admit or disputes the claim.

If the creditor admits the claim, then the enforcement agent will allow the claimant to retrieve their goods.

Where the creditor disputes the claim, the enforcement agent should write to the person making the claim within three days of receipt from the creditor advising that the claim is disputed. The obligation is on the claimant to issue an application to court for the issue of exemption to be decided within 7 days of receiving the notice from the enforcement agent. 

Please see The Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007, Schedule 12, part 2, paragraph 60 and Rule 85 of The Civil Procedure Rules

An example is that we may have removed a vehicle that we believe belongs to the person named on the liability order. In this instance the third-party would need to provide us with an invoice for the vehicle and show an entry on their bank statement showing they had purchased the vehicle. Please note a V5 document from the DVLA is not proof of ownership, only who the registered keeper is. 

Stage 3 - Sales or Removal Stage

This is where the process begins to remove and sell the goods that have been taken into control. This can be done if an arrangement is broken or negotiations break down or if payment is refused and can be done 2 hours after initially taking control of goods. If at a commercial premises by engaging a locksmith to gain entry and secure the goods on site and sell them or otherwise remove them to an auction facility for sale. If it is a residential property then a locksmith can be engaged only if the goods have already been taken into our control. A fixed fee (can only be charged once) is made of £110 (£525 for High Court Writs) plus a 7.5 percentage of any amount over £1,500 (£1,000 on High Court writs). Disbursements such as locksmith fees, storage charges by our auctioneer and court fees made in regard to any additional disbursements applied for can also be added.


You have removed my goods, what happens next?

The debt needs to be settled in full, you will have a further period of time to make payment. Once paid the goods will be released to you. If you do not pay they will be sold at public auction. 


How do we pay you?

There are several ways in which to make payment.

  • A bank to bank transfer, you can do this by using your internet banking app or telephoning your bank to instruct them to make a payment to us. We bank with Barclays Bank Plc, our bank address is 75 King Street, Hammermith, London W6 9HY who use sort code 20-35-93. We run several client accounts so the account no. will be different for each creditor, the details will be on our paperwork. You can no longer go into a branch to make a counter payment without a pre-printed payment slip. We can issue these on request.

  • Pay by Bank is the second most popular way that we accept payment, you will find a QR code on our payment page or letters you have been sent by us, scan this by using the camera on your mobile phone. This will ask you to enter an amount you wish to pay, enter your case reference no. in the field below then a description such as Council Tax, tap continue and you will see a list of banks, scroll down until you find your bank and click continue. The next page will show the amount you have asked to pay and other details, you will see Payee- LWE and sort code 20-35-93. We use a separate account for accepting these payments which you will see as 93851346. Click continue and this will leave our page and attempt to open your mobile banking app, you then need to go through your security process, this may be face recognition or fingerprint, agree the payment with your bank and it will be processed, the whole process takes about 15 seconds. Please see this short video demo from our payment provider ecospend.

    If you have an arrangement set with us you will automatically receive a payment link by SMS or/and e-mail on the date your payment is due, the information is already pre-populated, you simply just need to agree the payment with your bank, simply follow the instructions.

  • You can also make card payment from our payment page. This is a lengthier process as you will need to enter various pieces of information that match your payment card. As the page is 3D secure you will more than likely have to confirm the payment by agreeing to it on your mobile banking app or receive an SMS code to enter authorising the payment.

  • We no longer accept postal orders or cheques.


Customer Care and If you think we have done something wrong.

At LWE we are proud that an exceptionally small number of complaints are recorded and most are dealt with very quickly. If you feel that we or one of our agents has done something wrong or that you have not received a satisfactory service then we would like to hear about it. 

Please put your complaint in writing adding your case reference no. to the subject field followed by COMPLAINT, you can either e-mail it to us at Alternatively, write a letter and send by post to London Warrant Enforcement Ltd, 20-22 Wenlock Road, London N1 7GU. We still have a fax number which is 020 7788 3460.

Some tips on making a complaint to us-

  • Make sure you are complaining to the right person, if it is about the creditors behaviour then you will need to make that complaint to them
  • Your complaint has to be in writing. If this is something you are not comfortable with then ask a friend or family member to help you
  • Be clear and cover the relevant points, try and create a timeline of events that have led to the complaint
  • Give your contact details including a phone no. so we can call you
  • If you have any evidence to back-up your complaint please send this to us
  • Be polite and assertive, not aggressive. Your complaint is more likely to be dealt with efficiently if you remain calm, getting angry does not lead to a better conclusion and makes things difficult for all involved

We aim to deal with your complaint within 24 hours but if specific enquiries or investigations need to be made, such as viewing body worn camera footage then the reply may take longer. In any case we will advise you of the progress of your complaint.

Once we have replied and in the unlikely event you are not satisfied with our response you can submit your complaint about us the creditor, they will have their own complaints process. If you are still not satisfied you have the opportunity to make complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman

London Warrant Enforcement Ltd is an accredited firm of the Enforcement Conduct Board. Complaints may be made to them later this year.

Please view our Customer Care Policy and Complaints Procedure

If you feel that one of our Enforcement Agents has acted incorrectly then you can make complaint to the County Court where their Certificate was issued. Please see How to complain about a bailiff


Have we left something out?

If there’s something we have overlooked then please let us know, we can reply to any questions you may have and consider adding them to this webpage.


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