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Hi

 

Hope someone can help.

 

I have council tax arrears going back a number of years and now received a letter from solicitors saying they will go for a charging order if I don't pay up in 7 days.

 

I have been disputing amounts with the council for years but they won't listen as there have been various issues such as not living at the property due to time away, vacant because property was unhabitable due to leak, mice infestation, which council knew about and unemployment issues. I do not owe the sums that the council have demanded, some tax yes, but not all.

 

Tried ringing baliffs at times when they demanded money but they would not listen either.

 

Before the letter from solicitor's, council gave me 7 days to pay up but did not receive letter until 7th day! So not even chance to respond. I want to take action against the council regarding this, can I use a formal complaints procedure as I am disputing the amounts owed. There are liability orders, however, I do not owe the amount they are seeking. I do want to make a formal complaint to the council etc. Can someone please give me advice on this. I have also never been in full time employment for all the years either but councils do not seem to want to listen especially when you explain circumstances. They left me having to stay at a friends of 6 months when I had an infestation problem, surely there must be action I can take.

 

I want to fight this on principle as there have been issues and franky the council have never been interested, just pay up attitude! Can I report them and solicitors if they take action whilst I make a formal complaint and account is in dispute.

 

Thanks for any advice.

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They left me having to stay at a friends of 6 months when I had an infestation problem, surely there must be action I can take.

 

Staying at another property in this situation would not prevent you being resident at your home for council tax purposes.

 

If the council are in dispute with you regarding a discount or exemption you need to appeal to the council in the first instance and then to a Valuation Tribunal in the second instance.

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With CT there are very narrow margins as to why you don't have to pay. When the Council apply for a Liability Order against you they only have to show you were liable to pay it and the Magistrates only have a yes or no answer to that. Whether or not you can afford to pay does not enter the equation unfortunately.

 

If you have several of these and they are thinking of going back to Court for a Charging Order then you are coming to the end of a long tortuous route - this does not happen very often. They will indeed force you to sell and add substantial costs..

 

You need to establish very quickly:

1 - how many Liability Orders you have

2 - what period of time each one covers

3 - how much each one is for

4 - how much is still outstanding on each one

You may obtain this information by ringing the Council and asking.

 

I imagine because time is short you need legal representation. Have you also contacted your local Councillor for help, if not do so over the weekend.

 

PT


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