Whether for commercial or residential property, when it comes to gaining entry to a property in enforcement matters, it needs to be taken seriously and is usually a specialist area of locksmith services

Guest article: Andrew Marsh, The Lock Father

When High Court Enforcement Officers are carrying out an eviction, the client might have sent an ill-equipped locksmith or general builder, which can often cost the client time and therefore money with enforcement taking longer than it should have.

I am a former enforcement agent, which really helps us as a business understand the detailed requirements when carrying out an eviction.

We have been working alongside The Sheriffs Office for many years and we recognise the importance of a specialist locksmith services. Our method of entry team has required significant investment in equipment and training and have yet to be beaten with a 100% success rate.

However, not all cases require such force and like any locksmith we have the ability to pick and replace locks from stock carried on our vans without the need for any form of destructive entry”.

Commercial properties – squatter eviction

A quick and quiet entry is paramount when enforcing a writ of possession against persons unknown in commercial property. Often doors will be steel and possibly barricaded. Having a dedicated ‘method of entry’ team in such circumstances is essential.

Specialist equipment is often needed and this may include hydraulic door spreaders, hooligan bars, petrol disc cutters and the famous ‘enforcer’ battering rams seen on many Police TV shows.

The hydraulic door spreader is of significant use in gaining quiet entry to a property during the very early hours. They can force doors of any material open silently and efficiently allowing the Enforcement Agents the element of surprise. This tool will often form the first stage of entry with the more robust tools being saved until necessary to prevent unneeded damage to the doors and frames.

Commercial properties – forfeiture of lease

With what is usually a peaceful entry under the cover of darkness the approach taken is very different to that of an eviction. In these circumstances it is important that as little damage as possible is done to the doors and/or shutters on entry.

Once the lease is forfeited, an inventory is made of any assets within the property and the correct notices applied to the exterior the locks are then changed and the property is secured for the landlord/agent.

Residential property – eviction of tenants

With notice served it is likely the occupiers will be fully aware of the impending arrival of High Court enforcement agents and may have already left or leave peacefully upon attendance. For those that have left or remain in the property, again, in such cases it is important that a non-destructive entry is made to ensure no damage is done to the doors and frame.

Once the occupier has left the property it can be secured and the locks changed with the new keys being given to the landlord/agent.