When tenants get into arrears with their rent, the landlord may use CRAR (commercial rent arrears recovery) to recover this money.

The landlord does not need to obtain a court order. He may simply instruct a certificated enforcement agent (previously called a certificated bailiff) to enter the premises and take control of goods in order to sell them to recover the rent. It is a very fast and efficient process – the landlord can instruct in the morning and the enforcement agent can attend the same day.

CRAR only applies to rent on leased premises. If the landlord landlords wishes to recover items such as service or maintenance charges under the banner of rent in the lease, he will need to obtain a county court judgment, and have this enforced if it is not paid.

What is the process?

The landlord instructs the certificated enforcement agent to attend the premises and levy. The agent must show the tenant his/her certificate and leave a memorandum detailing the inventory of what has been seized and the associated authorised fees, charges and expenses.

As with the vast majority of enforcement cases, we find at The Sheriffs Office that the mere attendance of the certificated enforcement agent is enough to persuade the tenant to pay all arrears. It is only on rare occasions that goods are seized.


CRAR replaced the common law remedy of distress for rent when part 3 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 came into force on 6th April 2014. Find out more about the differences between CRAR and distress for rent.

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