What can Sheriff Officers take?

What Sheriff Officers cannot take.

Rather than outlining what Sheriff Officers can take, it is probably easier to state what they cannot take.

The following is a list of what Scots Law considers to be essential assets. As such these assets cannot be attached by sheriff officers, using attachment orders or Exceptional Attachment Orders, providing a reasonable requirement for the items can be shown.

These items are also protected for the purposes of sequestration or protected trust deeds.

Can Sheriff Officers take cars and mobile homes?

Cars which have a value of less than £3,000 can be deemed to be an essential item and, therefore, protected from Sheriff Officers, provided a reasonable requirement for the car can be shown.

Sheriff officers also cannot take a mobile home that is the debtor’s only or principal residence.

What can Sheriff Officer take from within the home?

Sheriff officers can never take money from a debtor’s home (although they may take it from business premises). The exception to this rule is if the money is antique money, such as that kept by a coin collector, which is worth more than value shown on the money.

Other items Sheriff Officers cannot take are:

  • clothing reasonably required for the use of the debtor or any member of the debtor’s household;
  • implements, tools of trade, books or other equipment reasonably required for the use of any member of the debtor’s household in the practice of such member’s profession, trade or business, not exceeding in aggregate value £1,000;
  • medical aids or medical equipment reasonably required for the use of the debtor or any member of the debtor’s household;
  • books or other articles reasonably required for the education or training of the debtor or any member of the debtor’s household not exceeding in aggregate value £1,000;
  • articles reasonably required for the care or upbringing of a child who is a member of the debtor’s household;
  • toys for the use of any child who is a member of the debtor’s household;
  • beds or bedding;
  • household linen;
  • chairs or settees;
  • tables;
  • food;
  • lights or light fittings;
  • heating appliances;
  • curtains;
  • floor coverings;
  • furniture, equipment or utensils used for storing, cooking or eating food;
  • refrigerators;
  • articles used for cleaning, drying, mending, or pressing clothes;
  • articles used for cleaning the dwellinghouse;
  • furniture used for storing—
    • clothing, bedding or household linen;
    • articles used for cleaning the dwellinghouse; or
    • utensils used for cooking or eating food;
  • articles used for safety in the dwellinghouse;
  • tools used for maintenance or repair of the dwellinghouse or of household articles;
  • computers and accessory equipment;
  • microwave ovens;
  • radios;
  • telephones;
  • televisions.

What can Sheriff Officers take outside the home?

Sheriff Officers cannot take any tools or other equipment reasonably required for the purpose of keeping in good order and condition any garden or yard adjacent to, or associated with, a dwellinghouse in which the debtor resides.

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