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Council Tax Summons - Incorrect info

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Hi folks, first post here so please forgive me if this is the wrong place to post.


I purchased a property recently, and completed on 19th September. Upon moving in, there was a council tax bill waiting with a liability 'from' date 5 weeks previous, which also had my surname incorrect (though similar - as though it had been misheard over the phone).


I immediately replied by letter stating that completion had taken place on the 19th September, that I was entitled to a single person discount and that the surname was incorrect.


I heard nothing more until today. I have received a summons, for the same original amount, again with an incorrect surname and 'from' date.


I called the council earlier, explained the same as I did in my previous letter (which they claim to not have receipt of) and requested the bill be reissued so I can make the correct payment.


Amazingly, they are refusing to withdraw the summons. I queried the fact that the summons has the wrong name and wrong liability period, and he stated 'they would just amend the existing one'.


Whilst I have no issue paying council tax (well, I do, but I accept it has to be done) - I do have an issue with paying more than I'm liable for, and for a period I didn't even own the property.


Furthermore, he would not tell me how much the correct amount would be - so I either take a guess myself and pay that, or overpay.


Ideally I would like to put all this before the magistrates during the hearing, however taking a day off isn't really an option at the moment.


Does anyone know of any legal obligations of the council that may assist, or anything else that could help?

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I'm sorry - I don't know the answer, but I've PM'd some people who might be able to help.


In the mean time, I REALLY suggest you contact the national debt line.

i will be off site for the next month or so. if you have any problems, feel free to report the post so a moderator can help you.


I am not a qualified or practicing lawyer.

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The local authority have the power the cancel the current Liability Order on the grounds that it is incorrect. I have all the legislation at work and I can type some info about it tomorrow.


What you need to do is write to the local authority with evidence that they have it all wrong and point out that your next step will be a maladministration complaint with the local government ombudsman, if you speak to anyone on the 'phone ensure you take names, their position and their manager's name and position.


I'll post more tomorrow.

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Thanks to both of you for your replies.


sequenci - I look forward to whatever you are able to find, that would be a great help. Thanks for your time.


it's no problem. i dislike local authorities.


can you PM me tomorrow morning? i don't have any short term memory at the mo :)

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Section 82 of The Local Government Act 2003 enable The Local Authority to apply to the Magistrates' Court to quash a liability order on the grounds that it should nopt have been made.


I must stress that *IF* a liability order could have been made for a lesser amount then the court can substitute the curren order for a lower amount and include it in the reasonable costs of obtaining the original order. A summons would have to be served upon you before any substituted order could be made.


Where the local authority accepts that a liability order should not have been made but refuses to apply to get in quashed you can consider a maladministration complaint to The Local Government Ombudsman


If you want to try and get the actual order set aside its a bit of a minefield. You might want to read up on:


Liverpool City Council v Pleroma Distribution

R (Brighton & Hove Justices) v Hamdan

R (On the application of Mathialagan) v Southwark LBC

R (On the application of Tull) v Camberwell Green Magistrates' Court and Labeth LBC

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