Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide


An excellent guide for the layperson in how to use the County Court - a must if you are intending to start a claim.

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  1. #1
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    Default Council Tax over 6 years. Liability order.

    Hi, I am new to this forum and would appreciate any advise that you nice people would like to give.

    I received a letter from the council this year February claiming that I owe the council about 2000 for council tax not paid at a previous address that I lived in 7 years ago, which as far as I know was paid. Being that it is 7 years ago I cannot prove as I don't keep payment records that long.

    In my 7 years of living here I have not received any warnings that I owe this money and I always pay my council tax on time, also the council have known my new address and even my contact number, but they have never tried to contact me about this debt.

    They told me they made a liability order in 2004, which they require a court summons from the magistrate court, but I haven't received any letter about this. I haven't seen this liability order, I have asked them to prove it, but they have just sent me some screen shots of their software. They keep prolonging the deadline as well when I speak to them.

    I am wondering why it's taken this long for them to suddenly contact me. Any idea where I would stand?

    Thanks for your help in advance
    Andy


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    Default Re: Council Tax over 6 years. Liability order.

    You are in a very difficult situation unless you can prove that payment was made, what payment method was made at the time?


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    Default Re: Council Tax over 6 years. Liability order.

    Thanks for the reply.

    I cannot remember how I paid.

    It is a very difficult situation.

    I still cannot believe they made a Liability Order though, I haven't seen any evidence of it.


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    Default Re: Council Tax over 6 years. Liability order.

    I would hazard a guess that they have more than 1 Liability Order as 2k for CT 7 years ago would be akin to living at Buck House. Makes me think they have continued charging after you moved. You must ask them how many LO's they have and what dates they cover.


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    Default Re: Council Tax over 6 years. Liability order.

    Quote Originally Posted by ploddertom View Post
    I would hazard a guess that they have more than 1 Liability Order as 2k for CT 7 years ago would be akin to living at Buck House. Makes me think they have continued charging after you moved. You must ask them how many LO's they have and what dates they cover.
    Thanks for your reply.

    The house is a high council band, that is why it is 2k, also they added charges for late payments (which i didn't receive).

    There is only one LO that they speak of which they say was applied on the 29th November 2004, again no record was sent to me though.


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    Default Re: Council Tax over 6 years. Liability order.

    Quote Originally Posted by andbutuk View Post

    also they added charges for late payments (which i didn't receive).
    Would be interested to see their explanantion for that.

    PT


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Council Tax over 6 years. Liability order.

    Quote Originally Posted by ploddertom View Post
    Would be interested to see their explanantion for that.

    PT
    They say they have sent warnings and bills out, but I didn't receive them. They have sent me screen shots of their system software.


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    Default Re: Council Tax over 6 years. Liability order.

    What address do they claim to have sent them to? If your old one did you advise them you were moving?


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    Default Re: Council Tax over 6 years. Liability order.

    Quote Originally Posted by ploddertom View Post
    What address do they claim to have sent them to? If your old one did you advise them you were moving?
    They weren't clear, they said it could be either.

    I actually spoke to the current owner who has been there since I left, he said he hasn't received anything from the council(as far as he knows), and I haven't at my current address.

    I told them that I moved, they even admitted that they I told them that I had moved.


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    Default Re: Council Tax over 6 years. Liability order.

    In that case put them to strict proof they were posted. Although they may have them on their system they have nothing to say they were printed or then posted.


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    Default Re: Council Tax over 6 years. Liability order.

    Quote Originally Posted by ploddertom View Post
    In that case put them to strict proof they were posted. Although they may have them on their system they have nothing to say they were printed or then posted.
    That is a very good point, but they can't prove it.

    They also say "they don't need to prove it".


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    Default Re: Council Tax over 6 years. Liability order.

    Quote Originally Posted by andbutuk View Post
    That is a very good point, but they can't prove it.

    They also say "they don't need to prove it".
    This is true to some extent as they would rely on the provisions of Section 7 Interpretation Act 1987, which effectively says proof of postage is proof of receipt, unless it can be proved it hasn't arrived. But I imagine they should have kept records of the postage??


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    Default Re: Council Tax over 6 years. Liability order.

    Quote Originally Posted by revshelp View Post
    This is true to some extent as they would rely on the provisions of Section 7 Interpretation Act 1987, which effectively says proof of postage is proof of receipt, unless it can be proved it hasn't arrived. But I imagine they should have kept records of the postage??
    They may have I can ask them. But with some of the records they say that they don't keep them for that long.


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    Default Re: Council Tax over 6 years. Liability order.

    Can anyone advise me, please?


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    Default Re: Council Tax over 6 years. Liability order.

    They have to have something as otherwise they could just say anything. It may pay you to ask your local Councillor(s) for help any refusal or reluctance and you go to the Leader of the Council and his opposite number.


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    Default Re: Council Tax over 6 years. Liability order.

    Quote Originally Posted by ploddertom View Post
    They have to have something as otherwise they could just say anything. It may pay you to ask your local Councillor(s) for help any refusal or reluctance and you go to the Leader of the Council and his opposite number.
    Thanks for the advise, what do you mean by 'opposite number'?


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Council Tax over 6 years. Liability order.

    The Leader of the Council is an elected member - Labour, Conservative etc. Hs opposite number is from the opposing party.


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Council Tax over 6 years. Liability order.

    Quote Originally Posted by ploddertom View Post
    The Leader of the Council is an elected member - Labour, Conservative etc. Hs opposite number is from the opposing party.
    Thanks I will contact the Leader of the local council.


  19. #19
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    Default Re: Council Tax over 6 years. Liability order.

    Quote Originally Posted by CCMRob12 View Post
    You geninuely don't remember how you paid your CT? There are only so many ways you can do it. With it being such an important bill, you are asking for trouble here not being able to show you have paid it. Sounds like I am lecturing here, so enough of that.

    Having said that, overlooking this rather large issue, they don't tend to be this dis-organised over something as serious as CT. I don't see how they haven't sent formal letters or got a bailiff recovery team on the case before now. They are normally on the ball, so to not be able to present you with any proof or formal letters makes me think they might have a hard time proving any of this in court anyway. So hopefully, you'll be OK.
    Thanks.

    Yeah I can't remember it was 7 years ago. The funny thing it that when I missed 2 months of paying the CT with my new property they sent me a liability order straight away, so I paid it off imediately, so I don't see how they can let it last as long as 7 years and try and get it from me now!


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Council Tax over 6 years. Liability order.

    Just in case anyone is still interested, after some more complaining, eventually the council decided that I did not owe them money and they dropped the "owed" payments.

    Justice is done.

    Thanks for your advice, guys.



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