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    • i would suggest that you stick to researching on here only. use our search top right for say CTAX or liability order.   you seriously have some wild theories, but those are understandable.   as i have said, there won't be a court hearing you need nor would that help you at all nor are expected to attend, it's not like that, it's merely a rubberstamp exercise .   there is no right of forced entry for bailiffs collecting CTAX debts. the bailiff process is one of a letter which will be entitled Notice of enforcement, this gives you 7 days to pay the sum it outlines with an associated fee of £75 for it being sent. the 2nd step will be a visit, you have no legal remit to engage with them at all, i i would not do so under any circumstances, that visit will add a further £235 fee those are the only things a bailiff can do. the most they can charge is a total of £310.   police do not ever get involved in civil matters like CTAX debt. not sure where you ever got that idea from.   its saturday now so use the W/end wisely, get reading up HERE ONLY it might well pay you on monday to go RING the council CTAX dept and plead poverty etc etc. it might also pay you to find the email address or even better phone number of your local MP and get him involved. they can do wonders.   dx 
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    • Hi Stu and dx1000uk,   I have done the online assessment and as I suspected I already receive the maximum benefits available to me.   Yes I was referring to the fact that some times I know that non-payment of council tax can lead to imprisonment so thanks for clarifying.   let's say I can't make their demands for payment and they do send bailiffs in, I assume these are the type of bailiffs I can just not let in and then after a certain amount of attempts they give up right? does the council then not send the police round? This is what I can't work out and worries me.   The council already know that I am struggling and can't make the payments but when do I get my chance to tell a court or the police that it's not that I don't want to pay but that I can't pay?    Walshy
    • Hi Stu and dx1000uk,   I have done the online assessment and as I suspected I already receive the maximum benefits available ot me. Yes I was referring to the fact that some times I know that non-payment of council tax can lead to imprisonment so thanks for clarifying. But let's say I can't make their demands for payment and they do send bailiffs in, I assume these are the type of bailiffs I can just not let in and then after a certain amount of attempts they give up right? But does the council then not send the police round? This is what I can't work out and worries me. The council already know that I am struggling and can't make the payments but when do I get my chance to tell a court or the police that it's not that I don't want to pay but that I can't pay?    Walshy
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please someone help me make a complaint to the council


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hi please dont think im a fool for what you are about to read, but 590 pound is such alot of money, and im gutted, ive screwed up big time.

 

im sat here in floods of tears,

i live in a council house with my 3 children, i am a single mother.

 

 

a couple of months ago i contacted the council repair line, to complain about my frount door, it lets in the rain and has a whooping big gap at the bottom of it, they sent a inspector out to look at it, and he told me he will get a repair man out to re-seal it, and replace the glass, as for the whooping great big gap in it, he told me thats the design of the door, (yea okay maybe hundreds of years ago, i thought to my self) i asked the inspector can i put in a new front door at my own expence a pvc one, he said yes, as long as if you move you realise you wont be able to take it with you.

 

i had also had this very conversation with another inspector who came out to my house back in july. (can i put in a new door) he said yes too.

 

both inspecters told me that the council will be replacing the old windows with new double glazing ones,at the end of this year, but NOT THE DOORS, the doors will be staying has these are the standard concil doors.

 

both inspectors told me yes by all means i can put a new one in my self.

 

last week i had managed to save up the money to get my new front door fitted

 

 

yesterday i recieved a letter in the post that i will be getting a visit from some one from the council to measure up for my new pvc windows and doors.

i burst in to tears and phoned the council, i told them what had happend she told me i should of asked for permission, in the form of a letter, she said no one was available to talk right now and that a inspector will call me tomorrow,

well today came and no one called so i phoned them at 2.30, i spoke with another woman on the phone, who to be very honest talked so down to me,i burst in to tears again.

i told her what had happend and that some one was supose to call me today, she replyed, what for, what do you expect them to say to you michelle. i said i dont know, she asked me what were the names of the inspectors who said i could put a new door in, i could only remember the ones first name,and his second name sounded like finagun,

i couldent help but snap at the woman, i started screaming down the phone, why are you talking to me this way, im a single mother who has just saved up and spent 590 pounds for a door that now there is no point for.

 

i felt such a idiot, i felt like she thought i was making it up, when she could hear i was crying, she dident sound so harsh to me, she told me to write a letter

and make a complaint,and i might have a chance of getting my money back.

 

if any one out there could please give me some advice on how to word the letter i would be so very greaful xx

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If you are a tenant of the Council, your legal rights will depend on the terms and conditions of your tenancy agreement.

 

Do you have a copy of it? If not, get a photocopy from the housing department at the council. You can't do anything until you know what your legal rights are.

 

You may need to show the tenancy agreement to a solicitor, for advice.

 

It will be a question of what rights the agreement gives the council, as to whether or not it can replace your front door. For example, if it only has repairing rights, and the door is not in need of repair, it might not have a legal right to replace the door.

 

Only a solicitor can tell you, after seeing the tenancy agreement.

 

A letter to the council might be quite short. Just tell them the facts, as you've told us. And tell them, in addition, that you refuse permission for them to enter the property or replace the door.

 

That will probably force them to go to court, in order to get the neccesary court order to enter your home, which the court will refuse if it's not satisfied they have the necessary rights under the tenancy agreement.

 

Read this thread: http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/landlords-tenants/74053-access-property-landlord.html

 

 

 

Advice & opinions on this forum are offered informally, without any assumption of liability. Use your own judgment. Seek advice of a qualified and insured professional if you have any doubts.

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This posting gives general guidance only. It is not an authoritative statement of the law. Consult a Solicitor for specific advice before deciding on any course of action.

 

 

Further information:

 

Assured and Shorthold tenancies - A guide for tenants

 

Renting and Leasehold - Advice from Shelter

 

 

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hi thanks for your reply,

they wont replace the door, becouse i have already done this,out of my own pocket i was told a few months ago that i could do this myself, by two inspectors.

i did this believeing the door was to never be replaced by a new one, ( the inspectors told me, the windows and not the doors will be done) now ive just found out the council will be giving its council homes new pvc doors as well as windows.

 

the reason why im so upset, is becouse i paid all that money for nothing, the woman i spoke to on the phone told me the inspectors new all along that the doors would be replaced with the windows. and i should of wrote a letter to say what i was doing, i did not realise this, after all i had asked the very people the letter gets sent to, and they told me yes in person.

i know its going to be my word against theres, but it is the truth, and im so gutted, i can not stress enough just how much money that door cost me and im so upset xx

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Aw, dear, poor poor girl :(

I do feel for you.

Let me get it straight: your front was broken/drafty, you were under the impression that the council will not replace it, so you did it yourself. You spend a lot of money seemingly needlesly.

Sit down and write a stonking complaint to the landlord (I presume council?). This kind of disrepair is a landlord's responsibility. You were seriously misled. You were also badly treated when you called to complain. Now your children's Christmas will be pitiful, due to the inspector's lack of adequate information.

Make copies: one for the landlord, one for the Council's Chief Executive, one for the Head of Housing, one for your local counselor, one for your MP, one for the local paper.

You do not have to use legal language- all you need to say that the landlord has a duty to repair and they did not fulfill this duty to your serious detriment and now you are considering taking your complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman if you are not recompensed speedily.

Use strong emotive phrases but be polite; lone parent, small children, Christmas ruined, not being able to pay for essentials, etc etc.

Make a lot of noise, make an utter nuisance of yourself, make them want you to go awayso badly, that they compensate you swiftly.

The crucial think in the "snowed under" strategy is to send a lot of letters to a lot of important people, so about getting the names and addresses.

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You're in good hands with Joa, michsienna. I'll just add to remember if you can dates and times of conversations, if you don't remember it's no big deal but it helps if they can look at their telephone log and see that the phone calls/home visits really happened.

 

Also know that you've got support, my mum had a nightmare with the council when we were little about windows, they can be horrible but often people can't afford to move from their council house.

Any posts submitted here on the Consumer Action Group under the user name GlasweJen may not necessarily be the view of the poster, CAG or indeed any normal person.

 

I've become addicted to green blobs (I have 2 now) so feel free to tip my scales if I ever make sense.;-)

 

 

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I disagree with Joa's conclusion that you were mislead. You have not provided enough facts to draw that conclusion.

 

You have not told us on what date the council took the decision to replace the doors in the block, nor whether that was before or after the conversation you had with the council's employee.

 

It is perfectly possible, from the facts you have posted, that the relevent decision was not taken until after your conversation with the employee in question.

 

Also, you have not established that the council owes any duty to you.

 

If it is replacing the doors under a contractual or statutory duty, that is one thing. But you have not established that this is the case. I refuse to believe that every door in the block has become faulty all at once. So the council is probably not carrying out a necessary repair under its repairing obligations in your tenancy agreement.

 

It looks very much like the council is offering a free replacement to tenants, without being under any legal obligation to do that. If so, I don't see any legal basis for any claim against the council.

 

If so, then in the unlikely event that the decision to make that offer pre-dated your conversation with the council's employee you still have no legal claim on the council, in my opinion. An offer made out of the goodness of its heart gives rise to no legal rights or duties.

 

If they are recovering the cost of the new doors from the tenants - which I doubt, given your comments - then they won't charge you.

 

To summarise, you would have to establish that the replacement falls under a legal obligation in the tenancy agreement; and that the decision to replace was taken before your conversation with the employee.

 

It's distressing to have missed out on this free offer; but that doesn't necessarily give you any claim against your landlord.

 

 

 

Advice & opinions on this forum are offered informally, without any assumption of liability. Use your own judgment. Seek advice of a qualified and insured professional if you have any doubts.

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This is a self-help forum in which users share their experiences. Assistance is offered informally, without any assumption of liability. Use your own judgement; obtain advice from a qualified and insured professional if you have any doubts.

 

This posting gives general guidance only. It is not an authoritative statement of the law. Consult a Solicitor for specific advice before deciding on any course of action.

 

 

Further information:

 

Assured and Shorthold tenancies - A guide for tenants

 

Renting and Leasehold - Advice from Shelter

 

 

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Ed may be right; n the other hand, he may not, but because there is so much at stake I would still campaign and complain. Complaint letter doesn't cost much- it takes a little time to compose, it takes some effort to lay it out in a chronological and logical order and it may generate a good outcome.

In order to establish facts about the dates of replacement programme (when was it decided, who was entitled, what was proposed)- why not submit Freedom of Information Act access request?

I am pretty certain that if your front door was faulty to the point that it stopped performing it's function properly i.e. kept letting the wind in, did not proteect from elements etc - your landlord had a statutory duty to repair under section 11 (http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/landlords-tenants/74057-disrepairs-privately-rented-accommodation.html#post641938 ) where it says that the landlord must keep in repair (see below) the structure and exterior of the building or part of a building which is let to the tenant.

and

The landlord's obligation to repair only comes into operation when there has been damage to the structure and/or exterior which requires it is made good. The landlord is therefore obliged to put right something that has gone wrong, or which does not work in the way it was intended to work.

 

If in doubt about the detailed grounds for a complaint, my rule of thumb is to go ahead. Be reasonable and polite. If your complaint is rejected, the letter will carry the arguments for the rejection of your complaint. It will be up to you to see whether these arguments are true, make sense and are irrefutable or not.

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Hi Joa. :)

 

Are you saying the landlord has a duty to repair the o/p's front door? Because that's not what this is about.

 

The o/p's door is irrelevent, because she replaced it. The landlord can therefore have no repairing duty in respect of her door.

 

The point I was trying to make was that the landlord is not under a duty to repair EVERY front door in the block, because they can't all have suddenly become faulty. So the statutory duty to repair can't have arisen.

 

In fact, I very much doubt that either a statutory or a contractual repairing duty can arise from the facts as stated. At most, this is a case for fitting a draft-excluder, not repairing the door.

 

The o/p should be trying to establish the true facts at this stage. What date did she speak to the employee? Who was the employee? What date did the council take the decision to replace the doors in the block? Was that decision taken under a legal duty? If so, what legal duty?

 

The o/p does not currently have any relevent facts on which to base a complaint, IMHO.

 

 

 

Advice & opinions on this forum are offered informally, without any assumption of liability. Use your own judgment. Seek advice of a qualified and insured professional if you have any doubts.

Note

 

This is a self-help forum in which users share their experiences. Assistance is offered informally, without any assumption of liability. Use your own judgement; obtain advice from a qualified and insured professional if you have any doubts.

 

This posting gives general guidance only. It is not an authoritative statement of the law. Consult a Solicitor for specific advice before deciding on any course of action.

 

 

Further information:

 

Assured and Shorthold tenancies - A guide for tenants

 

Renting and Leasehold - Advice from Shelter

 

 

All posts are opinion only

 

 

If you've found my suggestions useful, please click on my star and add a comment

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I don't think at this stage there is too much need to establish the legalities I would do as Joa says send a letter with the emotional side to every dept Mayor and MP and see what happens.

The LA will not want the local rag displaying headlines such as 'Single mum struggles to make council house secure' 'We have no xmas presents cos my mum had to pay for a front door on our council house' etc etc

If they want to respond with the legalities instead of resolving the situation then is the time to come back and ask for help on that angle.

Consumer Health Forums - where you can discuss any health or relationship matters.

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last week i had managed to save up the money to get my new front door fitted

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Has your new door been installed? Reading above it appears as though you had only managed to save the required amount as of last week. If not, then it may be worth explaining the situation to the company you have ordered it from and if it is on order they may under the circumstances allow you to cancel the order.

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Whilst I appreciate the predicament the OP is in, I do not feel a great deal of sympathy. She isn't out of pocket really, and only feels bad as she now finds that she has shelled out money needlessly.

 

She should have taken advice at the outset, from knowledgeable people independent of the council. If her thoughts were confirmed that the door was sub-standard by today's specifications, then the next step would be Environmental Health to get an assessment done under the 2004 HHSRS rules. The EH department would then order the housing department to undertake all necessary repairs.

 

If I was a councillor, I wouldn't support a refund of her money.

On some things I am very knowledgeable, on other things I am stupid. Trouble is, sometimes I discover that the former is the latter or vice versa, and I don't know this until later - maybe even much later. Read anything I write with the above in mind.

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She isn't out of pocket really
...:eek: er, she is! Big time! And needlessly too. If she was only advised properly by the "inspectors"! You bet she feels bad. £590 is a lot of dosh for a lone parent, trust me.

 

Esio, we really appreciate your comment about your lack of sympathy. Beautiful.

Also, we are really glad that you must be one of these people who never makes mistakes, always seeks advice from knowledgeable people and carefully, reasonably approaches each problem.

How lucky you must be.

Additionally, we feel it is very insightful to tell the OP what she should have done instead of what she could do now. It allows us to feel superior, doesn't it. Especially if it's not our door that lets the cold and rain in and it is not us being messed around by whole host of jobsworths, patronising "customer services" slappers, and couldn't-care-less employees.

 

Do you work for "the council" Esio?

 

With regards to the posters who point out that OP hasn't got grounds for a complaint: with respect, I have pointed it out in my previous posts that she may or may not have legal leg to stand on, but we don't know the full facts and I wouldn't want to discourage OP from taking action without full knowledge. I have referred to my rule of thumb; if in doubt (and it doesn't cost you)- complain and see what comes out of the woodwork.

 

I know that OP proposed to replace the doors herself when she was offered to have it "re-sealed" but we really don't know much: how could "re-sealing" help with a large gap? What was the overall condition of the door? Was the replacement program in a pipeline? It is not only legal arguments that we have to contend with, it is also other factors, like possible misinformation from council officials etc.

 

And finally; my experience of local authorities who are landlords and their repairs track record tells me that in 9 out of 10 cases, council screws up.

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God and baby jesus, what is going on, on these forums, gone are the days when members could disagree in a nice not civilised manner.

 

The council will not need to replace your door if you have replaced, my parents replaced the kitchen and front door, and the council are happy that they dont have to spend that extra 15000.00, believe me.

 

Secondly, my wife is a housing officer, and she agrees.

 

I agree with my learned friend JOA, if it all fails.

 

But like i said.

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I agree with my learned friend JOA, if it all fails.
I am not sure if that means you agree with me or not, sorry I am foreign :lol:

 

Council will not need to replace the door, OP has already did that, the issue is now whether she should have been told that there is a replacement program on the way and whether the inspectors misled her.

 

As for the manners; yeah, I totally agree, civilised and respectful discussion should be the rule......yet sometimes I get carried away by some of the more special posts. You know how it feels.....when you can barely restrain yourself. So yup, I put my hands up, I can be a nasty girl. So bite me :D

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The o/p paid her money, made her bargain, and actually got what she paid for. Where is the problem in that?

 

Now she is moaning just because other people are going to benefit from a free windfall. I have no sympathy with that attitude.

Note

 

This is a self-help forum in which users share their experiences. Assistance is offered informally, without any assumption of liability. Use your own judgement; obtain advice from a qualified and insured professional if you have any doubts.

 

This posting gives general guidance only. It is not an authoritative statement of the law. Consult a Solicitor for specific advice before deciding on any course of action.

 

 

Further information:

 

Assured and Shorthold tenancies - A guide for tenants

 

Renting and Leasehold - Advice from Shelter

 

 

All posts are opinion only

 

 

If you've found my suggestions useful, please click on my star and add a comment

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I , on the other hand, have a great sympathy, but that's maybe because I fully understand what it means to be a lone parent in a council house and the value of £590 in such circumstances. I fully believe the OP when she says : im sat here in floods of tears.

Naive and misinformed? Possibly.

Greedy and whining? Not at all.

How would you react if you spent your money in a circumstances when you did not have much and few weeks later you'd have found out that you did not have to spend that money at all but nobody bothered to tell you when you asked? Pretty ****ed off- I would.

 

I do not believe that she made her bargain- I feel she was possibly cheated out of a bargain. It is possible that she did not have to spend this huge amount of money at all.

As for the free windfall, I wonder what did you mean by this? Did you mean landlord fulfilling repair duty? Did you mean tenants getting what they are entitled to?

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Dear Michelle

 

Having work in a council housing advice team for many years, I have always understood that there is a responsibility upon your council's staff to ensure they give you the correct information. Those 2 inspectors that doors were not part of the council's rolling maintenance programme, and that it only applied to windows. You asked if it was okay to install a door at your own expense, and were advised it was not a problem. If there was any doubt in the minds of those 2 inspectors about the door, they should have at least checked with their office that doors were not part of a rolling programme over the next few years, knowing the expense you would have to go through. You asked the question and were told there was no problem with you installing your own door. Did anyone tell you that to be on the safe side, put it in writing? Does not appear so. Like the rest of us when we contact any service and ask a question, you are only as good as the information you are given. Yes, check your council's complaints procedure and the steps for requesting compensation, and find out the senior person to whom to send it. I have seen may people succeed over the years with such action. I would word it along such lines as follows:

 

Dear -----

 

Complaint & Request for Compensation

 

I write to make a complaint about the service and advice I have received from council staff concerning a matter of concern to me, and to make a claim for compensation. This is because I acted upon advice given to me by staff, which turned out to incorrect, and this cost me a considerable sum of money.

 

I received 2 visits from council inspectors with regard to your intended programme to install new UPVC windows in council homes. I was told by these inspectors that the programme would not include doors. I asked each inspector if I could install a new UPVC door at my own expense. Both said this would not be a problem, knowing that it was going to cost me a lot of money. Neither inspector told me to put this request in writing, and neither checked if doors were due to be part of any future such maintenance programme. I went ahead with purchasing the door from money it took me a long time to save.

 

This matter has caused me a great deal of distress over the past few days. It began when I received a letter from your office informing me that doors as well as windows were to be fitted in council properties. I discovered that I need not have spent all that money after all. {you could mention here about your phone call to the office and what staff said to you!!].

 

The council failed in this instance to give me the correct service and advice. By acting upon the advice your staff gave, I spent the sum of £--- on a new UPVC door, which is a lot of money for someone in my position. I have now discovered that I need not have spent this money after all. I have been advised by a good source that I would have a good case for compensation.

 

I therefore request that you compensate for the sum of £--- within 14 days. Should I not receive a satisfactory response, I intend to refer this matter to a solicitor, my MP and local councillor, and will consider taking it to the local media.

 

Yours--------

 

You don't have to word it exactly like this, but something along these lines perhaps. Wish you well with your claim. Let us know how you get on.

 

Regards

 

topletters

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