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Hounslow Council Chasing Council Tax from Year 2000 for property I did not live in


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Hounslow Council recently contacted me (May 2012) to say that I owed £525 for council tax owed back in the year 2000.

 

What had happened is that I moved out of a rented flat and moved to an address in the same block as the landlord had decided to sell the property. We promptly registered that we were moving to a new flat with the council and immediately without a pause began paying council tax on the new property. Hounslow acknowledge this and can see the record of this taking place. However, they are claiming that we did not de-register from the previous address and are claiming for a period of 6 months council tax unpaid.

 

In speaking with them they are asking me to show my tenancy agreement from over 10 years ago (which I have zero record of) and I cannot track the landlord from 10+ years ago. I am stuck and the council will not see reason.

 

Apparently they had a summons issued against me and my flatmate back in 2001 for the outstanding bill. We never received any communications that this was going on and Hounslow tell me that it is only now that they have been able to trace me - despite the fact that they had a record of me living at another address in Hounslow until 2003 and also me being on the electoral register since then and having lived at the same address for a property I bought for the past 8 years.

 

Its extremely frustrating as if they had contacted me earlier I would have perhaps had records of things - but since they have taken so long it is now extremely difficult for me to do anything. They have a baliff now pressed into action and I feel very very down about the whole thing. I dont have the £525 spare right now and I really dont feel that I owe it. If anything the landlord of the property has been unscrupulous in not forwarding the mail at the time and also he should have been liable for the council tax.

 

I have requested now that the council provide an original copy of the letter sent to them registering us at the new address and evidence of their attempts to contact me in the past 10 years. But to be honest unless the original form shows that I notified them that I was moving out of a place and moving into another place (and not just the latter) then I do not know what to do.

 

Can anyone point me in the right direction as to how to fight this?

 

Many thanks

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Hi

 

I was interested in your plight as exactly the same thing has happened to me. There has obviously been some big directive on arrears at Hounslow which kicked off in May this year.

 

I too am unable to investigate this properly as the arrears the allege are due was from 2000 and arose from a flat share scenario.

 

They also allege they served a summons properly which was ignored. I suspect this is not the case and that they obtain the orders (if at all) as a paper exercise. I am a lawyer. If I had received a summons I would have acted upon it immediately.

 

There are also discrepancies on the sums they are seeking to recover and it looks like they are trying to include arrears which accrued after the date of the liability order.

 

They have so far refused to produce the liability order which is the document giving the right to recover the arrears. If they have not obtained this they are statue barred.

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