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Ghostrider0

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  1. @ mariner51: My "guest" is also my informal carer, I am virtually housebound due to immobility issues, hence my ESA and PIP claim. The arrangement has always been that they stayed with me rent free in lieu of payment for their services, as I was not in a financial position to employ them at a set rate, and it allowed them to be available as and when required.
  2. Thanks for the link citizenB, essentially where we're at is the contents of item #40: My co-habitee called the Scottish Court Service to ascertain what, if anything, being made a "party" to the proceedings meant in practical terms for them, in addition to being able to present their point of view to the Court. The SCS advised them that this process was called being "sisted" and to use Form XXX to apply to the Court for it to be done, but beyond that declined to provide any further details of what exactly (if anything) my co-habitee would be committing themselves to should they decide to down this route, citing that they "didn't provide legal advice" as the reason. My co-habitee very much wishes for the Court to take their point of view in to consideration, but not at any cost. Further research has so far unearthed information that would appear to suggest that by being made a party to the proceedings, they are, at the Sheriff's discretion, making themselves potential liable for part/all of any sum(s) deemed payable by the defenders side, and this has just served to make them more concerned and leery of defending their rights, as they're wondering what else they may ultimately become liable for that's not apparent in the readily available information. Hence my question(s), is being made party to the action the only way a qualifying occupier can ensure they are heard in Court, and if so, what liabilities/conditions/terms etc are they committing to, either automatically, or potentially at the discretion of the Sheriff or another by doing so? @ IdaInFife: The eviction action is being raised on the grounds on non-payment of rent, which (as sole tenant) I do not dispute and admit full liability for, I am defending it on the grounds that I believe the landlord has and is acting unreasonably in expecting me to have paid it for the period in question, or to pay it now. As throughout that period and beyond I have had zero income on account of waiting on the DWP to process two seperate applications for benefit. (I have had an ESA claim outstanding since May 23rd 2014, and a PIP claim outstanding since October 5th 2014).
  3. Thanks for that, I wasn't sure where was best to post it. Sorry, I should have said in my OP, that my co-habitee has been in touch with the CAB to try and establish what their rights are and how to go about protecting them, however their line is that they're not in a position to offer legal advice, and recommended they contact Shelter. They have done this, and while Shelter were sympathetic, they also took the position that any advice they could give would have to come direct from a lawyer. They put my co-habitee on a waiting list to receive a phone call consultation with one of their lawyers as soon as one was available, but after waiting a week, they advised that given their lawyers' current workload and the rate at which they were currently receiving higher priority cases, it was highly unlikely they were going to be able to have the resources available for even a phone consultation in time to be of help.
  4. I am a secure tenant of a social housing landlord in Scotland and have been so for fifteen years, at the same address throughout. I am the sole tenant, I do not sub-let or keep lodger(s), however for the last three plus years I have allowed a friend to stay with me in the property as my "guest" (for want of a more appororiate term), and it has been their sole and only home throughout that period. The landlord has been aware of their presence at the address throughout, and has not objected or attempted to have them removed. Following almost three years of a difficult and steadily deteriorating relationship between myself and the landlord, relating to other matters unrelated to my co-habitee, my landlord has now served a summons for eviction on me. I'm disputing it in court on the ground of the landlords unreasonable expectations and demands, but quite frankly only rather half-heartedly as I realise and accept that even if I win, our tenant/landlord relationship is untenanble in anything more than the very short term on account of our various difficulties over the last three years. Essentially I'm none to bothered whether I win or lose, as I'm going to have to move on sooner rather than later anyway, and while I'd rather have a bit more time and wait until circumstances were somewhat better to move on, if I have to make do with what alternative accomodation I can arrange right now, so be it. My co-habitee's situation is however rather different. Having been a resident at the address for three years and known to the landlord as such throughout that period, I am given to understand they have the status of a "qualifying occupier", and as such have a right under legislation for the Court to be taken in to consideration upon what the impact would be on them should an eviction of the tenant be granted. How I, or my co-habitee goes about making the Court aware of their circumstances and the impact of my eviction on them as a resident at my address is where my questions lie, as obtaining information on this seems almost impossible to locate. So far we have been led to believe that for their interests to be considered by the Court, they need to apply to be "sisted" to the Summons - however the flip side of being sisted, or at least one of them, is that they, at the Sheriff's discretion can then be made liable for some/all?? of the sum of money my landlord is seeking in connection with my eviction. Is this the only "down" side (for them) in being "sisted" to the summons, or are there other potential negative issues? Is it absolutely necessary that they be "sisted" for them to be able to address/inform the Court of how they will be affected by granting my eviction - To me anyway, it seems strange that the legislation appears to say that the Court is obliged to consider them anyway, that they need to be pro-active in making sure the information for the Court to be able to do so is in front of the Court, and, have to run the risk of being held responsible for a monetary sum, when in effect they are an innocent and uninvolved party who just happens to going to be losing out whatever happens , in a dispute between a landlord and tenant.
  5. Thanks for your reply IdaInFife. I agree that this could and should have been quickly resolved by front line staff, and indeed I thought that it had been when I received no reply or other correspondence from them concerning the issue after writing to them in spring 2013. As you have already realised, contacting any one specific individual member of staff within the Shetland Council is difficult to impossible, on account of their long term apparent policy of only making available front desk contact details to the public. Where, by all appearances, when used, front desk staff cherry pick who sees what, when, and if at all, as they see fit. The only reason I had a direct email to the Debt Collection person was on account of them having emailed me at some point in the past on a wholly unrelated matter, and I'd kept the email. As it was near the end of last week that I sent my emails to finance, my current thoughts are to wait and see what happens by the end of this week, and if there's no change attempt to make direct contact with someone like the finance director or the Council Chief Executive. In all honesty, based on past results with attempting to resolve other matters elsewhere within the Council machine, I have little faith in being able to obtain contact direct details for either, but at least I can say I tried....My local councillor I doubt would be able to help much, as in previous discussion with them they have readily admitted they find the entire Council civil service an almost impenetrable barrier who rely on "we are not at liberty to discuss individual cases" as a get out of jail card for virtually everything. Beyond that I guess there's only the Ombudsman.... At the end of the day its the legislation that appears to be flawed, Councils are run by humans (although sometimes you do seriously wonder....), and errors, etc will happen. There needs to be effective safeguards in place to have them resolved to both parties satisfaction both quickly and fairly, otherwise Councils can pretty much do what they like and hide behind a wall of silence and uncooperation to get away with it, as mine appear to be of mind to do with this.
  6. This is a long and messy story, so I'll try and stick to the short version to begin with. Fifteen years ago I moved from my previous address to my current address, I informed my local Council (Shetland, for both addresses) that I was taking over responsibility for my current address, that I was no longer responsible for my previous address, and gave them details of whom I was given to understand was taking over responsibility for my previous address. All seemed to be good, and in order, until February/March 2013, when out of the blue I received two letters at my current address, from my local Council advising me that they were now at the stage of applying to the Court for Summary Warrants against me for sums of Council Tax supposedly due for periods sometime between 2011 and 2013 at my previous address, followed shortly after, also to me at my current address by a Council Tax bill for my previous address for the whole of the 2013/14 tax year. I wrote to the local Council at that time advising them I was not responsible for Council Tax at the address stated, and I had not been responsible for Council Tax at that address since relocating from it in '99. They did not reply, and I have never heard anything from them on the subject since. So, after a month or two of silence, I presumed (as you do) that they'd accepted billing me for Council Tax at my previous address had been some sort of error on their part and the issue was closed. However in July this year I started receiving the usual computer generated threats from the vultures at Scott & Co. demanding I pay them the two sums of alleged overdue Council Tax for my previous address my local Council had written to me about in February 2013. I wrote to S & Co. restating I did not believe I was responsible or liable for the sums they were demanding, that I had already disputed my responsibility and liability with the Council concerned, and having not received any response from them to the contrary I believed they considered the matter closed, and consequently so did I. They replied, quite curtly making it very clear they had no interest or intentions in entering in to any discussion with me on the issue, they had full intentions of proceeding forward until or unless instructed otherwise by their client, and that if I had anything to say, to take it up with their client, not them. I wrote back pointing out that I believed they had a responsibility to inform their client that I disputed the charge(s) they had been engaged to pursue, that any disagreement was between their client and myself, and that if their client disputed my stance the onus was on their client to contact me, not vice versa, as I had already contacted their client concerning the matter over one year previously, and they had chosen not to address the issues I'd raised with them. Predictably I have received no reply to this However, as I had no faith or trust in S & Co. actually doing anything as a result of receiving my letter, a few days later I again wrote to my local Council, restating I did not accept I had any responsibility or liability for any Council Tax at my previous address which they believed may be due for any period after 1999, and this time providing them with a timeline of events for the last fifteen years for the address, as they are known to me, as backup. Finally I requested that I would be very interested in learning how they came to believe that I was responsible and liable for any such charges, especially taking in to consideration the timeline I had just provided them with. Unsurprisingly I have received no reply to that letter either. Meantime S & Co. equally predictably have been racking up the anti, and churning out steadily escalating dire threats as regular as clockwork. Last week, one month after last writing to both S & Co. and my local Council, I emailed both the front desk at my local Council's finance dept. and direct to the Debt Recovery person within the same finance dept. demanding an explanation of just what they thought they were trying to achive, and what on earth did they think they were trying to do - again predictably, neither email has been replied to. So, where do I go from here? From what I can gather legally disputing a Summary Warrant is effectively a non-starter (despite IMHO that being completely contrary to the principles of justice). Is this actually the case? Do we really have a system in place where a local Council can bill just about anyone they choose to for Council Tax, and then hide behind a wall of silence and hired guns to steal whatever sum of money they choose to off that individual, and that individual has absolutely no legal comeback whatsoever to dispute or challenge either their liability to pay, or the sum demanded? Is there any viable avenue of challenge and redress in this situation, or am I simply going to have to sit back and wait until they decide to make me bankrupt, and let the argument as to whether this bill legally constitutes one of my liabilities or not, be settled in that Court? If there isn't, I can't see what's going on here as being anything other than legalised extortion/theft etc.
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