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Unpaid Council Tax at a property I lived in over 2 years ago.

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Hi. Can anyone help please. On Thursday this week, a bailiff from Bristow & Sutor turned up regarding unpaid Council Tax at a property I lived in over 2 years ago. I queried the details of why he had turned up - and he just said "you've got a Liability Order" and I've come to collect.

This was the first I'd heard of it! He then started pontificating on my doorstep quite loudly - and I was in a hurry as I had to pick my kids up from school, so stupidly I let him in.

He then filled out a lot of forms and said I had to pay him £76 now or he would take my car and sofas. I explained that I knew nothing of this debt - so he phoned the Council in question - who said "oh yes - it was cleared, but re-instated this year".

All sounds a bit "iffy" to me. Anyway - I phoned the Council after he had gone - only to find that the period is covering a period AFTER I left the property and was no longer liable!! The Council said they would suspend the Bailiffs whilst dealing with it - but I have heard nothing from them. I asked Bristow & Sutor to confirm that they had been instructed to "hold-off" - but they won't confirm it either! So, nowI am wondering whether I am going to have all my furniture and vehicle taken away on Tuesday for a debt that I didn't know about, isn't mine and have received no communication for. (I had a mail redirect on after I left the property - but never received anything - I have since moved again twice - but always had forwarding addresses, mail redirects AND paid my council tax - but they say I was difficult to find??!!!) HELP

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Hello and Welcome, delujari.

 

I'll move your post and mine to start a new thread for you.

 

Regards.

 

Scott.


 
 

Any advice I give is honest and in good faith.:)

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Hi. Can anyone help please. On Thursday this week, a bailiff from Bristow & Sutor turned up regarding unpaid Council Tax at a property I lived in over 2 years ago. I queried the details of why he had turned up - and he just said "you've got a Liability Order" and I've come to collect.

This was the first I'd heard of it! He then started pontificating on my doorstep quite loudly - and I was in a hurry as I had to pick my kids up from school, so stupidly I let him in.

He then filled out a lot of forms and said I had to pay him £76 now or he would take my car and sofas. I explained that I knew nothing of this debt - so he phoned the Council in question - who said "oh yes - it was cleared, but re-instated this year".

All sounds a bit "iffy" to me. Anyway - I phoned the Council after he had gone - only to find that the period is covering a period AFTER I left the property and was no longer liable!! The Council said they would suspend the Bailiffs whilst dealing with it - but I have heard nothing from them. I asked Bristow & Sutor to confirm that they had been instructed to "hold-off" - but they won't confirm it either! So, nowI am wondering whether I am going to have all my furniture and vehicle taken away on Tuesday for a debt that I didn't know about, isn't mine and have received no communication for. (I had a mail redirect on after I left the property - but never received anything - I have since moved again twice - but always had forwarding addresses, mail redirects AND paid my council tax - but they say I was difficult to find??!!!) HELP

 

You'll be better off starting a new thread http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/newthread.php?do=newthread&f=168

Sounds reasonably easy to deal with and you'll get loads of help.

 

Ignore above as see site team has already done this for you.

 

PT

Edited by ploddertom
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Ignore above as see site team has already done this for you.

 

PT

 

Sound, PT must have posted at the same time ;)


 
 

Any advice I give is honest and in good faith.:)

If in doubt, you should seek the opinion of a Qualified Professional.

If you can, please donate to this site.

Help keep it up and active, helping people like you.

If you no longer require help, please do what you can to help others

RIP: Rooster-UK - MARTIN3030 - cerberusalert

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Hi. Can anyone help please. On Thursday this week, a bailiff from Bristow & Sutor turned up regarding unpaid Council Tax at a property I lived in over 2 years ago. I queried the details of why he had turned up - and he just said "you've got a Liability Order" and I've come to collect.

This was the first I'd heard of it! He then started pontificating on my doorstep quite loudly - and I was in a hurry as I had to pick my kids up from school, so stupidly I let him in.

He then filled out a lot of forms and said I had to pay him £76 now or he would take my car and sofas. I explained that I knew nothing of this debt - so he phoned the Council in question - who said "oh yes - it was cleared, but re-instated this year".

All sounds a bit "iffy" to me. Anyway - I phoned the Council after he had gone - only to find that the period is covering a period AFTER I left the property and was no longer liable!! The Council said they would suspend the Bailiffs whilst dealing with it - but I have heard nothing from them. I asked Bristow & Sutor to confirm that they had been instructed to "hold-off" - but they won't confirm it either! So, nowI am wondering whether I am going to have all my furniture and vehicle taken away on Tuesday for a debt that I didn't know about, isn't mine and have received no communication for. (I had a mail redirect on after I left the property - but never received anything - I have since moved again twice - but always had forwarding addresses, mail redirects AND paid my council tax - but they say I was difficult to find??!!!) HELP

 

You can start this today by contacting your local Councillor as I am sure that when you tell him it makes a good story for the press it will make the Council look stupid. Don't worry it being Saturday as Councillors expect to be contacted at odd times and if they don't like it they should never have asked for public office in the first place.

 

On Monday morning you need to contact the Council again and have the fact confirmed to you that you owe nothing, preferably in writing. Tell them the visit you have had from B&S and remind them strongly you hold the Council responsible and expect recompense immediately. Don't be flannelled and if necessary go further up the tree. Hopefully your local Councillor will also have made waves by this time.

 

As far as the Bailiff is concerned do not let them back in, if he was coming to remove then he has to give you written info of when that is anyway. In your case they would look a bit stupid to go ahead. Unless of course he comes bearing gifts such as the money etc he took from you.

 

Incidentally why not suggest a bit of compensation for the stress, hassle, incompetence, embarrassment etc you have been put to. After all I'm sure the Council would love to make an extra donation to your Xmas fund.

 

At the end of the day the Council have cocked up and have to take responsibility for their and any Bailiff actions.

 

PT


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Thanks. The Council in question is a different one to the one I'm with now - Tewkesbury Borough Council. Fortunately, I didn't give him any money - or agree a payment arrangement - which is why he started getting "leary" and saying "your debt has just gone up another £100" AND is why I let him in. I explained that I wasn't in the habit of giving money to any old "tom dick or harry - with whatever ID" when I knew NOTHING of the debt!" - I think that's what got him a bit agitated in the first place!! If necessary - I'll drive up to the Council on Monday (it's about an hour) - and sit in their offices until I get it in writing that they've called them off - but it's knowing what to do if they come on Tuesday with a van etc .. I've got 3 kids under 10 and little material wealth - and as they've already been in - I understand they can force entry (I'm in private rented accommodation) - which would be pretty horrible. I'll root around a bit and find out who runs the Council up there - and maybe get my local councillor to take up on it. The lass on the phone did intimate that it's come down to me as the people who went in after me obviously didn't register - and I'm the mug that always gives my details and pays my bills!! Hey Ho ....

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Thanks. The Council in question is a different one to the one I'm with now - Tewkesbury Borough Council. Fortunately, I didn't give him any money - or agree a payment arrangement - which is why he started getting "leary" and saying "your debt has just gone up another £100" AND is why I let him in. I explained that I wasn't in the habit of giving money to any old "tom dick or harry - with whatever ID" when I knew NOTHING of the debt!" - I think that's what got him a bit agitated in the first place!! If necessary - I'll drive up to the Council on Monday (it's about an hour) - and sit in their offices until I get it in writing that they've called them off - but it's knowing what to do if they come on Tuesday with a van etc .. I've got 3 kids under 10 and little material wealth - and as they've already been in - I understand they can force entry (I'm in private rented accommodation) - which would be pretty horrible. I'll root around a bit and find out who runs the Council up there - and maybe get my local councillor to take up on it. The lass on the phone did intimate that it's come down to me as the people who went in after me obviously didn't register - and I'm the mug that always gives my details and pays my bills!! Hey Ho ....

 

I assume when you moved you filled in all the appropriate forms, wrote all the letters etc and i assume the Council will have acknowledged receipt of these. Even if not then you will be able to prove that as from XX Month Year you had utility, rent, Council Tax bills at each of your new addresses.

 

When you let him the other day did he do a levy, if so what was on it. No he can not come back on Tuesday and just break in so rest easy on that one. If at any stage a Bailiff breaks into a property he has to have the Court's consent to do so and this very rarely happens. Given the circumstances I doubt whether you will see him again.

 

As you live in a different Local Authority now, I would email the offending Council so at least someone gets it first thing Monday.

 

PT


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When he came round - he showed his ID - and proceeded to spout off about a Liability Order etc. When I asked what for - he just said Council Tax from Tewkes Council. I told him I knew nothing about it - he asked for a payment arrangement ... I said I didn't believe I owed anything, so wasn't in a position to make an arrangement for something I knew nothing about. That's when he started off on the "you've got 5 days - we'll have your car (taking the reg etc as we spoke) - and then proceeded to say "if you won't make an arrangement your bill has just gone up another £100. That's when I let him in (the curtain twitchers were out!!) ... He then went through my living room and kitchen - filling out a Notice Of Seizure Of Goods ... and an Inventory of Goods Siezed. Apparently the Order was issued March 2008 - then revoked but re-instated THIS year. That's what is confusing about it. Because I refused to pay him £76.48 there and then - he started emphasising "5 days is all you've got" etc ... I'm assuming the NoS is the levy - as it states the Levy fee etc. (£118.00 in total).

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Have to be quick as off to work.

 

Did he leave copy with you if so what was on it. If need further help this afternoon PM Hallowitch.

 

Will look in later

 

PT


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you have had very good advice from ploddertom anything that proves that you did not live at the address for the dates they are trying to claim will help you

what goods did the bailiff levy

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List as follows (debt written as 559.48 in total) - Wooden Clock on wall, Panasonic Microwave, Brown 2 seater sofa, brown armchair x2, large wooden dresser, toshiba tv approx 40" (it's not actually that big!), wooden TV stand, Toshiba VHS player & remotes, Large wooden piano, wooden bookcases, approx 30 books, Renault Megane including Tax and all documents & keys ....

 

Seems a bit excessive to me - but he wasn't in a good mood because I wouldn't pay him anything!!

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looks a bit excessive to me also is the car on HP Finance

find out the book price of the car

the rule of thumb is that the bailiff should levy good to the value of 10 times the debt

 

(debt written as 559.48 in total) do have any idea how much the council say you owe before bailiff charges

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Car is owned outright - I don't really have any credit, my rating took a big hit just after my husband died. Council say the debt is £441.48 - Attendance to Levy £42.50 Levy Fee £39.00 Walking Possession £12.00 Redemption of Goods £24.50 - Total £559.48.

 

Also, he never actually TOLD me what paperwork he was filling out - just that it was "paperwork he needed signing". Does that count? He didn't explain exactly what he was doing or what it would ential - I kind of read that after he'd gone.

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Oh ... and the car is 2000 - book price is about £950 - £1100

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The Council have now received all of my paperwork with a covering letter - and they say they'll have to "re-calculate" everything after confirming my dates etc. BUT they haven't confirmed suspension of the Bailiff yet.

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Attendance to Levy £42.50 this is a 1st & 2nd visit fee and cant be charged if no visits took place or if they were added the same day as the levy

 

Redemption of Goods £24.50 they can only charge this if goods have been seized and the debt is paid before the sale of the goods

another reason for questioning this charge is that if a bailiff charges a walking possession and levy fee NO other charges can be made on the same day

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Is the bailiff certificated if you cant find him on the list phone Ministry of Justice Public Register of Bailiffs on 020 3334 6355

he must be certificated to the firm of bailiffs he is working for If he is self employed there will be no company name next to his

 

www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/CertificatedBailiffs/

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Yes he is - I checked - from June this year - Bristow & Sutor (Worcester Court). They've never visited before - this was the first I'd heard of it from ANY source! The Notice of Seizure clearly states ALL of these charges - with the total being demanded within 5 days. So, does that mean I can challenge the Notice? ALL of the fees were added Thursday when he came calling.

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I've got 3 kids under 10

are you a single parent

do you work

 

if the bailiff removed your Brown 2 seater sofa, brown armchair what seating would you be left with

 

are any of the goods on hp

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We would have nothing to sit on apart from the floor - a fact that he would have realised as my furniture is minimal anyway! Nothing is on HP - can't get it!! My husband died 4 years ago - leaving me widowed with 3 kids and my rating took a big hit whilst I sorted things out. I'm self-employed - have been for the past 20 years, but have recently changed profession, so work is slow at the moment.

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Nope - well unless you count the hard back chair in the kitchen

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It's a bit of a joke really - the sofa & chairs are 3rd hand and not exactly in their first flush (especially since the kids have been at them)- they'll probably make a tenner for the lot!! It's my car I'm more concerned about. I need that for work and to take the kids to their various schools (unfortunately they're not all in the same place - but all of them are over 2.5 miiles away with no bus service - and even if there were, they'd be in different directions so they'd never get to school on time, which would create another nightmare!!)

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OK

question the 1st visit fee

2nd visit fee

Redemption of Goods £24.50

 

the levy is unlawful

NATIONAL STANDARDS FOR ENFORCEMENT AGENTS may 2002

 

2) The following articles belonging to a debtor shall be exempt from distress if they are at the time of the distress in a dwellinghouse and are reasonably required for the use in the dwellinghouse of the person residing there or a member of the household-

a) beds or bedding;

b) household linen;

c) chairs or settees;

d) tables;

e) food;

f) lights or light fittings;

g) heating appliances;

h) curtains;

i) floor coverings;

j) furniture, equipment or utensils used for cooking storing or eating food;

k) refrigerators;

l) articles used for cleaning, mending, or pressing clothes;

m) articles used for cleaning the dwellinghouse;

n) furniture used for storing-

(i) clothing, bedding or household linen;

(ii) articles used for cleaning the dwellinghouse; or

(iii) utensils used for cooking or eating food

 

Irregular Distress (Levy) by Bailiffs

With thanks to Tomtubby

[edit]MRS AMBROSE v NOTTINHGAM CITY COUNCIL

This is another well known legal cases that has been relied upon many times when either issuing proceedings, or one that can be referred to when writing a letter of complaint. This case concerns a lady by the name of Mrs Ambrose who claimed that a levy (distress) was irregular as bailiffs had removed goods from the home that were necessary for “providing the basic domestic needs of the family”

Background:

Mrs Ambrose and her husband had an unpaid Council Tax bill for £851.00 owing to Nottingham City Council. In September 2003, Rossendale’s Bailiffs attended at their home to levy distress on goods. Rossendale’s had entered the property, where they identified items that were listed on a Walking Possession. Next to those items listed, the bailiff wrote the words: “and all other goods on the premises unless exempt or specially exempt by statute.” The bailiff had not looked around the house; he had merely entered one room and was therefore unable to see which items were “exempt”

Regulation 45 of the Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992 lists the following items as being exempt from seizure:

"Such tools, books, vehicles and other items of equipment as are necessary for use personally in employment, business or vocation"

"Such clothing, bedding, furniture, household equipment and provisions as are necessary for satisfying basic domestic needs of the person and family".

As the Council Tax remained unpaid, the bailiff returned with a van to seize furniture that included a sofa, footstool and two dining chairs.

District Judge Cooper agreed that the seizure was irregular as the bailiff had removed furniture that was necessary for “satisfying the basic domestic needs of Mrs Ambrose and her family” This was because, amongst other items removed, the bailiffs had removed 2 dining chairs. They left behind the table and the remaining two chairs. As the family consisted of Mrs & Mrs Ambrose and one child, the bailiffs should have left seating for 3 people, not two.

Nottingham City Council had argued that there could not be any irregularity as Mrs Ambrose had signed the Walking Possession. This was rejected by Judge Cooper who agreed that Mrs Ambrose was faced with the prospect of having her goods removed unless she signed the Walking Possession.

As important as the above is, the Judge also agreed that the wording on the Walking Possession was deficient in that the reference to “all other goods on the premises unless exempt” did not specify what those other goods were, and which ones were exempt. The Judge agreed that the levy was also irregular for this reason.

__________________

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