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Sharmanator

Congestion Charge Certificate - Not my car!!!

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Your learned assistance if you please...(apologies for the long-ish post) I have, this weekend received a congestion charge certificate at my home address. I saw the congestion charge info on the back so opened it automatically as I do occasionally drive in London and had done so in December (christmas shopping with Mrs S).I looked at the vehicle details and it is for a car I have never owned (or indeed heard of). Only when I looked at it again did I realise that whilst the postal address was correct, the name is actually the previous owner of our house who sold it to us a year ago!!!I rang TfL or whoever it is that manages the contract to inform them that the details they have are incorrect and the chap on the phone wasn't interested. "We get that information from the DVLA and if it is not up to date that's not our problem. It will go to the court now (I assume he means Northampton TEC) and then the bailiffs will be sent round" I am afraid at this point I rather lost my cool and calm demeanour. He then instructed me in what I should do regarding sending letters to DVLA and themselves etc etc. I responded in telling him what he could do....but also telling him that if he really wanted to trace the car then for a few quid I am sure the Motor Insurance Bureau could point him in the direction of the address of the insured user of the vehicle. Apparently he is not allowed to investigate anything himself it has to be done by me!!!!Having clamed down I sent an email to DVLA complaining about their inaccurate data held regarding vehicles at our address and have recieved a very nice email from them asking for my assistance. Since they were very nice about it I will forward them the details they have asked for.I just wondered if anyone here has suffered from a similar situation? and if so, how was it reseolved? will bailiffs call at my house? and if so, what is the polite way to tell them to go forth and multiply?

Edited by Sharmanator
Have tried to insert line breaks but cannot do it for some reason!!!!

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Thre person who really has a problem is the RK of the vehicle who used to live in your house. Clearly when he moved he has failed to update the DVLA. Various fines could potentially be building up for him (although they all would still have come to your house so I think you will know there are/are not any. Not updating DVLA is in itself an offence to which you have now inadvertantly alerted them!

 

Do you not know where he moved to? If you don't then perhaps you could have asked the estate agent who handled the sale if they know. If you had found him directly then he might have got away with updating everything without admitting it was a year overdue!

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Thanks Crem. As much as I wouldn't wish to 'cry havoc and unleash the dogs of Swansea' on anyone it seems the only option as I know from the estate agents they don't have any contact details for the gentleman concerned as we recieved quite a lot of mail for him over the first few months of our residency and some of it looked rather official/financial/trouble. We returned all as not at this address without a second thought, but this one has me somewhat peeved.

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I wouldn't worry too much about it because if baillifs do call around and see identification they will go away. Ideally write to the Congestion Charge people keeping a copy stating that the person no longer lives at the address. Get proof of posting from post office as that costs nothing. That is all you have to do.

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A brief update: I have received another begging letter for our former occupant today from the same cretinous sub-humans at the congestion charge office so again I ring them. A brief example of what we, the motoring public, are up against played out as follows;

 

Me "Oh hello (shocked that they answered the phone) I have received another letter from you people to our former occupant regarding non payment of the congestion charge. He still doesn't live here, and since he sold the house to us over a year ago will not be doing so again."

 

Her "Oh right"

 

Me "I did tell you this the last time, and I have called you since to let you know that the DVLA have removed my address from any association with that vehicle. So, is someone not doing their job properly?"

 

Her "well, if you send the letter back to us as not known at this address then we will do the search again with the DVLA which will obviously then go to a different address"

 

Me "really, that's great. Why then did you not do that LAST TIME?"

 

Her "errrr..."

 

I despair at the stupidity of some of the poorly trained primates employed at these places I really do. Now I have to entrust the returning of this letter to the royal mail who seem to have enough trouble delivering a correctly addressed and suitably stamped letter never mind a returned incorrectly addressed one.

 

Breathes deeply, pours another coffee from the pot

 

Rant of the day; Done!

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I despair at the stupidity of some of the poorly trained primates employed at these places I really do.

 

They probably know more about the law and enforcement process than you which is why you are getting the letters, so if they are poorly trained primates that doesn't really rate you very highly does it!!

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If I may be so bold - from what I have heard from them during our conversations it seems to me that the only thing they properly understand is what the screen in front of them tells them. That would appear to be the limit of their knowledge of law and enforcement process.

 

If you refer to my earlier post I told them a number of ways they could find the actual address of the person and vehicle they are looking for to which the herbert on the other end was initially dumbstruck then soon moved on to the default setting of "not allowed to do that". Doesn't strike me as someone particularly well versed in anything other than reciting what there screen tells them.

 

FYI - my special area is fire protection, to which I have to be very well versed in some legal and statute matters, however none of those involve me knowing much about traffic.

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Just return the mail to DVLA marked "Addressee no longer at this address - no known forwarding address" and, if appropriate, "Opened in error".

 

And as Surfer says, if someone knocks on the door show some identification that you are not the person they are looking for.

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You've got a real attitude problem. You seem to think everyone is else incompetent and stupid, and yet here you are asking what you should do because by your own admission you are ignorant on the subject.

 

I'll tell you what to do:

 

1. Lose the attitude.

 

2. Have to hand your current council tax bill. When the bailiff calls, and he probably will, politely explain to him that the debtor no longer lives at the address, and show him the council tax bill as proof. You do not need to show ID - he isn't interested in who you are, he is interested in whether the debtor lives there. He will have to return the case and you won't hear from them again, at least not about this one.

 

If you want me to explain why the system works this way, I will. Or, you can live in ignorance and just tell people to "go forth and multiply", call DVLA staff stupid primates, congestion charge staff "cretinous sub-humans" and slag off the post office for good measure.

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FYI - my special area is fire protection, to which I have to be very well versed in some legal and statute matters, however none of those involve me knowing much about traffic.

 

Thats fairly obvious! Has it not occured to you that if sending a legal notice back stating 'not known at this address' was sufficient to get the enforcement process stopped very few laws would be enforced?

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Me "Oh hello (shocked that they answered the phone)

 

Me "really, that's great. Why then did you not do that LAST TIME?"

 

Her "errrr..."

 

I despair at the stupidity of some of the poorly trained primates employed at these places I really do. Now I have to entrust the returning of this letter to the royal mail who seem to have enough trouble delivering a correctly addressed and suitably stamped letter never mind a returned incorrectly addressed one.

 

Breathes deeply, pours another coffee from the pot

 

Rant of the day; Done!

 

.....If I may be so bold - from what I have heard from them during our conversations it seems to me that the only thing they properly understand is what the screen in front of them tells them. That would appear to be the limit of their knowledge of law and enforcement process.

 

:lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:

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First of all - an apology

 

If my earlier posts caused offence please accept my apologies. The rant (for that is what it was) expressed on here was a release of steam at what is obviously the incorrect time and place (post on forum - repent at leisure and with red face seems the mantra).

 

What annoyed me was the fact that having already returned mail to them, informed the DVLA in writing and had acknowledgemnt from them, and informed the congestion charge administrators of this, they continue to send mail out to the address which is in all likelyhood running up further costs for them and eventually the registered keeper of the vehicle.

 

It is the frustration that no-one appears to be listening, or that they don't care that triggers the response. Well, that and the anticipated visit from Bailiffs who from the experience of other posters I have seen on some interent forums can be a whole different kettle of fish but we will cross that particular bridge if and when.

 

I have taken the advice here on board and have an envelope ready with proof of id (the council tax one was especially useful) etc which along with my drivers licence should be enough to confirm that we are not the RK of the vehicle concerned or the person they are looking for.

 

Once again, my apologies for any offence caused to those here, feel free to stick the knife in - I probably deserve it!

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First of all - an apology

 

If my earlier posts caused offence please accept my apologies. The rant (for that is what it was) expressed on here was a release of steam at what is obviously the incorrect time and place (post on forum - repent at leisure and with red face seems the mantra).

 

What annoyed me was the fact that having already returned mail to them, informed the DVLA in writing and had acknowledgemnt from them, and informed the congestion charge administrators of this, they continue to send mail out to the address which is in all likelyhood running up further costs for them and eventually the registered keeper of the vehicle.

 

It is the frustration that no-one appears to be listening, or that they don't care that triggers the response. Well, that and the anticipated visit from Bailiffs who from the experience of other posters I have seen on some interent forums can be a whole different kettle of fish but we will cross that particular bridge if and when.

 

I have taken the advice here on board and have an envelope ready with proof of id (the council tax one was especially useful) etc which along with my drivers licence should be enough to confirm that we are not the RK of the vehicle concerned or the person they are looking for.

 

Once again, my apologies for any offence caused to those here, feel free to stick the knife in - I probably deserve it!

 

Appology appreciated! The point is the system in place relies on the keeper correctly registering the vehicle at his current address. In reality you should not have even opened the mail so would then have not got yourself worked up into a frenzy as you would not have been aware of the previous occupants wrong doings, its like me getting cross because the previous owner of my house hasn't paid his credit card bill when in fact its got absolutely nothing to do with me and I would only have known by opening his mail after he moved.

Tfl is legally oblidged to send the PCN and subsequent letters to the address provided by the DVLA, if they get no reply then the debt is registered in the keepers name. If and when they track down the keeper he/she can sort out the problem and explain why they never got the PCN.

In the mean time the debt is not yours and all you have to do is explain that if you get a visit from the debt collectors, if you get mail do not open it just put it back in the post marked 'moved away'.

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I agree completely. If a bailiff comes knocking, he'l be asking for mr X. Just be polite - tell him what's happened and that Mr X is long gone. He'll probably ask to see evidence, so show him - council tax is ideal usually as it documents all the residents. He can't touch your stuff over someone else's debt, but if he thinks you are trying to block him, then he might suspect you aren't being truthful, hence more hassle for you.

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Once the Authority is put on Notice that they have the wrong address they have an inescapable duty to correct matters.

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Once the Authority is put on Notice that they have the wrong address they have an inescapable duty to correct matters.

 

So any tom dick or harry can just write to Tfl and pretend the owner has moved and that will stop the process??

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I did not assert that at all.

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No but you did assert an "inescapable duty" on the part of the "authority" once thay have been "put on notice"

 

Morally, yes. Legally, no. It's the latter which matters in these situations.

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There is quite a difference between "notice" and "Notice". I refer you to that difference and to the tests of lawfulness of the exercise of public law powers. Morality has nothing to do with it, if it did this forum would have much less content.

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There is quite a difference between "notice" and "Notice".

 

No there isn't one is just written using a capital 'n'! You are talking gibberish any mail to someone else is not even meant to be opened so how are Tfl going to receive this magic Notice you speak of all they will get is an envelope returned undelivered. The notices are sent by Tfl following the procedure laid down in the regulations, if the keeper has failed to notify DVLA that is not the concern of Tfl, unless you suggest they start employing a firm of private detectives to hunt down owners rather than use the DVLA as required by statute?

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To make one further point, since the original post i did try to contact the former resident here via the estate agents who did not have any contact details for him but was worth a try. After this I contacted the DVLA re: the address issue whereupon I was asked to contact the 'Sensitive Casework' team who asked me to write or fax something to them (they needed a signature on it) to confirm the fact that the vehicle was no longer registered at this address. I received a written confirmation from the DVLA two days later that they have removed the address from the vehicle's details.

 

Having raised this with the Congestion charge people would it not have been prudent of them to re-check with the DVLA at that point? Obviously they didn't, a fact which was proven by them sending the most recent item of mail out to me (albeit as far as I know this may well be an automated process). Since this has subsequently been returned 'not at this address' would they (or should they) re-check the DVLA information at this point? and if they did what result would they now get?

 

I would also be obliged if, for no more than my own curiosity, someone could give me an idea of the stages a congestion charge penalty goes through. Since my company have an account for the CC then I have never entered the zone without it being paid so have no idea what the chain of events would be between driving into London and receiving an early morning knock on the door from man with warrant. This is all rather new for me.

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Goodness gracious me, are you not a council employee who works in parking ? A department that services Notices as its stock in trade. And you do not know the significance of a Notice ? Even should you in fact be ignorant of what a Notice is, the not so subtle nuances of a proper noun seem to have escaped your attention. Local Authorities live by Notices, yet remarkably get most unsettled when they receive one.

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I received a written confirmation from the DVLA two days later that they have removed the address from the vehicle's details.

 

Having raised this with the Congestion charge people would it not have been prudent of them to re-check with the DVLA at that point? Obviously they didn't, a fact which was proven by them sending the most recent item of mail out to me (albeit as far as I know this may well be an automated process). Since this has subsequently been returned 'not at this address' would they (or should they) re-check the DVLA information at this point? and if they did what result would they now get?

 

It might seem daft, but the system is set up this way. Suppose you had a charge then a week later you sold the car. The authority needs to know the keeper details when the charge was incurred - not who owns the car today. So, they obtain DVLA records for that date - and that's the name and address which will get the notices through the post. They could re-check for the latest information, but that's not what they need.

 

Of course to any sensible person, returning it "not at this address" would inform them of the error - but if they took notice of that, then every time anyone gets a PCN, they just write back with that and no-one would ever pay one!

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Goodness gracious me, are you not a council employee who works in parking ?

 

Correct I am not a Council employee who works in parking! You still have not explained what 'Notice' a member of the public can serve on the Council to inform them a registered keeper has moved??

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