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Hi

 

I moved into my privately owned , council leased flat in 2002. I did all the relevant registrations with the landlord ( council ) for council tax and service charge.

My council tax bills were sent in my name and were paid on time. The Service charge details were not amended. I forwarded the post to the previous owner.

In 2005 when I applied for a remortgage I found this problem and I "owed" this debt.

When I requested details of the bill the debt was just added to my service charge bill.

I had had no details of what they were trying to bill me for and requested I had a copy of the original bill. The Council failed to produce this until February this year in which I recieved a "re- issued invoice " for the period 1st April 2003 - 27th September 2005.

I have been trying to find out why I was not billed in the first place as like most people I do not have £1153 spare.

The council have refused to advise me of this and still demanded the monies. I made an offer to pay the money over a 6year period. The same time sapn as i took to get a bill.

This offer was refused with no chance of negotiation and been refered to solicitors.

 

Does anyone have any idea where I stand legally

 

Thanks in advance

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The Service charge details were not amended. I forwarded the post to the previous owner.

 

Being realistic here, you must have known that you were liable for these charges. Rather than just forwarding the bills to the previous owner (who probably binned them thinking it was a mistake - which it was) you should have corrected this mistake at the time. Councils do make mistakes (as do other organisations) and it never pays to think you can escape your liabilities because of such a mistake - they always catch up in the end!!

 

I have been trying to find out why I was not billed in the first place as like most people I do not have £1153 spare.

 

You know the reason - you had not corrected the original mistake and ensured that the name was changed in the first place and you were forwarding the bills to the previous owner.

 

Does anyone have any idea where I stand legally

 

Thanks in advance

 

You do owe the money - however, under the circumstances it is not unreasonable to expect to be given time to pay and I suspect if you write to the council/solicitor and offer to pay the arrears over a more reasonable time period e.g. 2 yrs?, they will accept that offer. I am sure if it went to court that the court would allow you time to pay. You don't really want it to get that far though as court costs will be added to the bill.

Kentish Lass

Information given is based on my knowledge and experience and is not to be considered as legal advice

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