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A person employed to collect debts or to evict a person from accommodation if the person has not left following a court order.

Bailiffs' warrant

A bailiffs' warrant is another name for a warrant of possession or an eviction warrant.


An insolvency measure for individuals unable to pay their debts when they become due.

Bankruptcy estate

Property belonging to, or vested in, the bankrupt person at the moment of the making of the bankruptcy order which vest in the trustee in bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy order

Court order adjudging an individual bankrupt.

Bankruptcy petition

Application to the court for a bankruptcy order.

Bankruptcy trustee

Person appointed to take over the management of a bankrupt debtor's financial affairs (either the Official Receiver or a qualified insolvency practitioner).

Banning order

An order that prohibits a landlord or agent from letting or managing residential properties (from 6 April 2018 only)

Bar Council

The professional body for barristers in England and Wales.


A specialised legal adviser and advocate who appears in court. Barristers do not deal directly with clients - instead, they receive their instructions from solicitors. Also referred to as counsel.

Bed and breakfast accommodation

Usually consisting of a room with a shared bathroom and sometimes a shared kitchen; bed and breakfast hotels are often used as emergency accommodation by local authorities. Breakfast of some sort should be provided.

Beneficial interest

A stake in a property that can give the occupier the right to live there long-term, and may mean he/she is entitled to a share of the proceeds if the property is sold. It is possible for a person to have a beneficial interest in a property even if s/he is not the legal owner.


A person who is the recipient of assets or money left in a trust.

Break clause

A clause of a tenancy agreements allowing the tenant or landlord to give notice to end the tenancy before the fixed term of the agreement expires.

Buildings insurance

Insurance taken out to protect the structure of a building from damage caused by fire, flooding, or other accidents.