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About revshelp

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  1. As far as I am aware a council is a statutory public body and not a company, though in certain circumstances they may be empowered by an Act of Parliament to carry out limited "trading activities". Historically some may have been have had a body corporate and the City of London still does but this is a left over of a much older system - but not a corporation in the sense of a business. With regards to the Liability order hearing there are a number of defences available but these tend to be procedural/technical matters. Once a liability order has been granted its hard, but not impossible,
  2. A Liability Order debt has gone through the 'recovery' process including the Magistrates Court, and this allows the council to take a number of steps to reclaim outstanding arrears, namely bailiff, attachment of earnings/benefits, bankruptcy, charging order, or ultimately possibly jail. Where as the un-summon's debt is payable either as a lump sum or more likely instalments, but this may also end up in court if you don't keep up with payments. To get the debt recalled from the bailiff you need to get the agreement of the council, who would only do this if you pay off the bailiff's costs f
  3. Probably not, until the Band was altered by the Valuation Office, or on appeal by the Valuation Tribunal, the Council were obliged to bill you in accordance with the official Band shown in the Valuation List and unfortunately there was no right to withhold the payment. They only way to be sure is to contact your council and speak to the senior officer in charge.
  4. I would say that keeping on top of the current years bill is the most important thing to do, as in many cases trying to clear the arrears first just creates a vicious cycle. Depending on the council, cost are either applied in full at the summons stage or in 2 lots of charges are applied once for the summons and then again for the liability hearing. The costs must be 'reasonably incurred' by the council and if you choose to attend you could challenge the level in court. The bailiff can't force entry but if doors and window are open they can walk in. If you have a car they could 'levy
  5. Council tax is a 'hybrid property tax' rather than a charge for services provided - even though the amount payable is actually calculated on the financial needs of the council (they should have included a information on spending in leaflet with the annual bill or published it on their website). The main legislation can be read hear http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1992/14/contents. Sadly just like Income Tax or VAT, I don't know of any option of opting out of paying.
  6. I believe there is a 3 month exemption on empty commercial business premisses, so you should get this what ever the circumstances. If the property is then 're-occupied' gain for 6 weeks a further 3 months could be claimed. The liability is determined by 4 components of 'rateable occupation' actual, exclusive, beneficial and transient - if your not having any benefit from the lease then perhaps you may not be liable but you need to get advise of a ratings lawyer. Could you try sub-letting the property for the rest of the term? If you were to stop paying rent, would you forfeit the lea
  7. Council Tax is calculated on a daily basis. So any decrease in the band will proportionally reduce the benefit and any other discount or exemption you may have received. As its all computerised then it should recalculate the chargeable amount and benefit based on the new banding automatically. They certainly won't refund you any amount which you haven't personally paid over.
  8. You should consider contacting the council to ask if the council tax arrears are enforceable from the period you were bankrupt, I think it should effective be written-off. Council Tax is usually seen as a priority debt, completing the I&E will be a good starting point, and will give you a stronger position to negotiate with the Council. Be careful though as you own your own home if the arrears are over £1000 the council could seek a 'Charging Order' on your property.
  9. The VT's main areas of appeal are valuation band, liability, discounts and exemptions. Benefit appeals I think are dealt with separately by the Social Security (or similar) Tribunals, though since the changes on 1 April I have a feeling this may have changed?? Its a shame that all matters aren't dealt with by the same court/tribunal it wold certainly make things a lot smoother. But I guess the assumption is that once it gets to the Magistrates Court that underling matters have already been resolved and its just the failure to pay that outstanding. (From personal experience I know this is
  10. I totally agree that case law sets a precedent which is binding on the lower courts and that theres established law on proportionality of costs, etc. I personally see Statute as creating a framework and Case Law filling the gaps, with both complimenting each other. With regards to costs the to principal pieces of legislation to refer to for Council Tax would be: Section 34 The Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992 Section 64 Magistrates' Court Act 1980 How a council should go about calculation the costs applied for isn't clearly set out,
  11. There is no physical piece of paper called an order, the clerk to the justices will note the decision of the court in the records, which I imagine will have an unique reference of some kind. I don't know whether the court records are open to be view by the public or if you can request a copy of the entry under the DPA or FOI.
  12. I don'k now if theres is a legal definition of "offence" and wouldn't want to give a definite answer. Referring to the dictionary it seems fairly wide definition, possibly leaning towards criminal more than civil. I would still say council tax was civil concern, nowhere in Sections 34-36 of The Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992 does it refer to an offence being committed, and the magistrates court don't issued a conviction, sentence or criminal record. I think its more likely to fall within Sections 51 and 58 of the Magistrates' Court Act 1980.
  13. I fully agree with the need for more clarity when costs are applied for, especially if the costs are the only amount outstanding at the liability hearing. I imagine the Council would argue that the costs they put forward would be the minimum level, and as not all customers turn up to the hearing that they have an obligation to inform what they intend to apply for. Obviously each case could well be different, and it should be up to the Magistrates Court to decide and for the defendant to challenge the level of award if any. How common this is or how likely a defendant is to succeed I don'
  14. The magistrates court is acting as a civil court when dealing with Council Tax. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magistrates'_court_(England_and_Wales) I'm not sure why this is the case, possibly because it won't affect your credit rating like a CCJ?
  15. Form a council tax point of view this is incorrect, if your son has his main residence elsewhere then he should not be treated as resident at your property (irrespective of any lease) and consequently only you should be libel for the council tax. Which would entitle you to Council Tax Reduction Scheme on 100% of the charge.
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