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Due to being on a low private pension I was entitled to quite a lot of Council Tax Reduction.

I have an asset other than my house worth £6800 which I declared to the Council two years ago when applying for Council tax benefit.

The Council reduced my Council tax benefit by £6 per month because my other asset was valued over £6000.

I was able to pay the Council tax despite having a small reduction in the benefit.


Now under the new rules I loose all Council Tax reduction due to having an asset worth over £6000.

I now have to pay the full amount despite being on a small private pension.


I do have a debt which is around £2000 which I assumed could be subtracted from my asset.

Sadly the Council have told me that debts cannot be subtracted from assets.


I find this ruling extremely strange.

I thought that debts were balanced against assets in a court of law but obviously I have been proved wrong by my local Council.

My local Council have told me that I can sell my asset and then obtain Council Tax reduction based upon my pension income.

However, they said that I must dispose of the money and not invest in land or property in order to be entitled to Council Tax Reduction.


I asked the Council if owning a £130,000 Aston Martin would count as an asset.

They said that cars don't count as an asset !!


Comments welcome,

I am amazed with Council Tax rules and regulations.

Seems to me that they are hammering poor people to allow rich people to keep their Aston Martin's.

Since when was £130,000 less than £6000?

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CTR is the localised replacement to CTB.


Each LA has designed their own scheme, so it is difficult to comment on scheme without knowing details of it.


However, for CTB/HB and income based DWP benefits, the only time a debt would be offset against an asset would be where the debt secured against the asset, e.g. mortgage or secured loan against a property. I expect most CTR schemes will have the same provision.


In relation to the Aston Martin owner, I doubt many would be claiming CTR, however a car would normally be treated as a personal possession rather than a capital asset.


The one thing you need to be aware of is that in most schemes, if the LA decided that you have disposed of capital to obtain benefit, the LA can decide to treat you as still having the capital. This is referred to a notional capital.

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OK thanks for that advice.


Well my debt is secured against my house as a charge order.

I have shown the Council my court charge order and they said it didn't count towards reducing my assets.

they are saying that owning property or land assets doesn't count against charge orders placed on those assets.

I am confused.


I have told the Council that I have to sell my asset to pay my debt so I don't understand how this can be considered as disposing of capital to obtain benefits.

Surely it's selling capital to pay debts.

How can the Council blame a person for selling assets to pay debts?

What's legally wrong with selling assets to pay debts?

I am very confused.


Thinking about this more deeply, as I now don't receive any Council tax reduction benefit then surely I must be entitled to sell any asset I have at any time I wish.


Now if that's not the case then a person with a full time job cannot sell an asset just in case he looses his job and has to sign on in the future.


Some years ago I spent huge amounts of redundancy money on improving and extending my house.

When the money ran out I signed on and had no problem because I had spent my money before I signed on.

I wasn't questioned about my spending habbits before I signed on.

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you are always entitled to dispose of any asset


it is just that sometimes disposing of an asset can backfire

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The Government have been saying that you should save for your retirement and build up a nest egg of money by private means.

I have done this by investing in land.


Now the Government reduce funding to local councils that results in me being financially punished for trying to invest for my retirement. I wish Governments would stop contradicting them selves and stop telling obvious lies.


Due to my huge increase in Council Tax I will probably have to get rid of my car.

The Government will then loose all the tax I pay on the petrol and the vehicle excise licence.

They will also loose the VAT I pay on my car insurance and the VAT I pay on spare parts, MOT and servicing.


I am of the impression that we are governed by financially incompetent buffoons.

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am sorry, but in most cases government gains more from ppl paying full CT than running a car


and even in those case when government "loses", they still win from VAT and other stealth taxes on what you spend your "supposed savings" on

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Just another thought.

Back in 2011 my local Council valued my land asset at £6850 and hence my loss of council tax reduction based on the council valuation.


However, I have found a BBC information page regarding the value of farm land that was published in August 2013.

Here is the link to the news article:



Now the article states that farmland is only worth £7,440 per acre.

Therefore how did my local council value my 0.46 acre of farm land at £6,850?

I assume they valued it at that price to dishonestly extort money from me.


Should I send my local council a link to the BBC report and ask them to re-value my land correctly?

Or will they claim that their valuation was correct and ignore me?

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the article indicates that although average may be £7440, the value of farmland varies from area to area


if you dispute the value of the asset, you can submit a grievance to the LA


most LAs request valuations of land and property from the District Valuer who is independent of the LA, can you recall filling in a valuation form at any stage?

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OK thanks for that information.

I never filled out any valuation form.

I simply took my copy of the deeds to the council office.


They photocopied the deeds and a few weeks later they wrote to me stating the value to be £6,850.

The BBC article says that farm land hasn't yet reached £10,000 per acre but according to the council valuation the land I own is worth £14,891 per acre. I therefore strongly suspect that the council are telling porkies.


The PBC, whoops sorry I meant the BBC are very good at telling porkies and covering them up for over 50 years.

Therefore I have no idea who to believe.


My local council and the BBC are both funded by public money so I suspect they are both telling porkies.

Seems to me that it's very easy to tell porkies when you are funded by compulsory public funding.

I am of the impression that it's a form of legalised "demanding money with menaces".


What a sad and bent country we live in.

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  • 1 year later...

Last month I sold my plot of land to my Son for £2,000.

The title deads are now in his name.


I sold the land for two reasons. 

I received a divorce petition from my wife's solicitor and secondly to repay a debt.


I therefore recently applied for Council Tax reduction as I no longer own the land.

The Council have recently written to me accusing me of selling the land purely to obtain Council Tax reduction and have therefore closed my claim. They said that I can appeal against their decision which I intend to do.


Their accusation is purely based upon opinion with no facts to back it up.

My divorce petition and my debt are real and I have paperwork here from my wife's solicitor and the County Court to prove it.


Should the Council not accept that I sold the land due to an impending divorce case and paying a debt then I assume that I'm not allowed to sell an asset to pay a debt or fund solicitor's fees incurred during my divorce.

The Council's attitude seems crazy to me.


I am hoping that when I show my divorce petition and debt details to them they will change their opinion.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

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Hello chiefmegawatty.


I hope my question is relevant. Have you sold the land to your son for what it was worth please? I'm wondering if this is why the council are upset.



Illegitimi non carborundum




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I sold the land to my Son for well below the market value.

After all he is my Son and I hope he can make some money in future years.


The letter from the Council did mention that I sold the land well below market value but it's up to me how much money I sell an asset for. I could legally give it to my Son for free. I cannot see how the Council can dictate how much I sell an asset for.

I could have put it on Ebay and only got £500 for it.


Despite having sold the land, the Council have stated that they still consider me to have £10,000 of capital which I assume they mean notional capital. Now legally, the only capital I have is the house I live in.


In the past my Council have sold Council Houses for a fraction of their market value.

I therefore don't understand why they are upset when I do something similar in order to pay a debt and fund a divorce.

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The Council cannot stop you selling or disposing of an asset.


However if you sell or dispose of it at substantially less than its market value, they can deem you as still having the asset for the purposes of HB and/or CTR


this is to prevent abuse of system, where a person with sufficient capital to not need assistance with their CT gives the capital away or transfers it to someone else to obtain assistance with their CT rather than using their own capital to meet their CT costs

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OK thanks for your reply.

What about paying for my divorce and debt?


Without selling my land how do the Council expect me to fund these things?

For how long will the Council deem that I still have an asset that I no longer own?

For ever I assume.

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it would depend upon the terms of their local CTR scheme


from the schemes I have read, most LAs will reduce the amount of the Notional Capital by the amount of CTR lost, so it reduces over time

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paying for divorce and debt are perfectly reasonable expenditure and would reduce actual capital - however wont reduce notional capital


if you had sold land at market value and paid off the debt and divorce from proceeds, i dont think you would have had a problem

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Thanks for your reply.

Well paying the full Council Tax on my very small pension will soon break me.

I would have received 50% reduction based upon my income if the land issue hadn't got in the way.


Seems to me that the only long term solution is to pay a reduced amount of Council Tax based upon what I can afford and eventually go to prison for not paying the full amount.


Going to prison has several advantages in my situation.

Whilst in prison my assets are frozen so the wife cannot obtain half of my house.

I would be exempt from paying Council Tax, electricity, gas, water, telephone or internet charges.

All food and clothes are free in prison.

I would not need to pay for car tax, car insurance, MOT, car repairs or petrol.


Going to prison would cost the Council taxpayer around £600 per week whilst

my pension builds up in the bank.


When I am released from prison I can use my accumulated pension to buy an expensive car which won't affect my future entitlement to Council Tax reduction.


I always thought that prison was intended for people who are a danger to the public.

Maybe I was wrong.

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very few people go to prison over council tax - the council may try other options, such as, garnishing your income, sending in the bailiffs, going for bankruptcy or taking out a charging order against your home

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OK thanks that's interesting.

Three years ago when I told the Council that I owned land I also mentioned that I had a debt.

I asked them if they would offset the debt against the capital.

They said they cannot do that.


I always thought that debts and assets were compared to decide if a person is was solvent.

According to my local Council you could have assets equal in value to a debt and they still consider you have assets that don't cancel out the debt.


I find that very strange.


Would it be a good idea to buy the land back from my Son, sell it again at full market

value and then blow the lot on a posh car?


My local Council have informed me that they consider that I have disposed of £10,000 worth of capital at a low price just to obtain Council Tax reduction. This is strange because the same council valued my land three years ago at £6,850.

This idea of notional capital is strange to me.


Despite being on a low income I will be charged full council tax for an asset I don't own and £10,000 I don't posess.

This seems wrong to me. I always thought that a seller of an asset could set his own asking price.


I am astonished to realise that the council dictate what asking price I should ask.

Surely it was my land and I can sell it for whatever price I wish.


What would the council say if I had put the land up for auction on Ebay and got £2000 for it?

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  • 7 months later...

Last Tuesday I attended a valuation tribunal regarding my refusal of council tax reduction.

There was a panel of independent volunteers to listen to and consider my case.

There was a council employee to present the council's case against me.


The council employee stated that I deliberately sold my land purely to obtain council tax reduction.

He also said that I sold my land below market value to deliberately deprive myself of capital.


He went on to say that the council had valued my land at £6,000 and I had sold it for £4,000 below

it's true value. Interesting that his figures are different to the original council valuation of £6,850.


I pointed out this difference and he stated that £6,850 was the value of my land plus my bank balance at

the time the land was valued. I then realised he was telling lies because I only had a bank balance of £198 at the time of the valuation.


I then asked the council employee what would have happened if I had sold my land for £6,000 as per his stated

valuation. He replied saying that I would still not have been entitled to council tax reduction due to having £6,000 in



I then asked what would happen if I spent £50 on new shoes which would reduce my cash to £5,950.

He didn't answer my question and digressed back to the issue of me selling the land below the council valuation



I await the result of the tribunal.


I was informed today that I lost my appeal for council tax reduction.

I will therefore have to continue paying 17% of my very small pension on council tax for many years to come.

Interesting to note that my gas, electricity and water bills combined only amount to 10% of my pension.


The only solution I can think of is to sell up and move away from South Gloucestershire.

Any new claim for council tax reduction in another area would not involve any issues with land I had sold whilst living in South Gloucestershire.


I hope that I won't be punished by any council or tribunal if I fail to obtain the perceived value of my house when I place it on the market.


Should I ask South Gloucestershire council how much I should sell my house for and what happens if I sell it for

less than they dictate?

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  • 4 years later...

This time last year I applied for council tax reduction based upon my occupational pension of £150 per week. I was refused because at the time I had over £6000 in savings...which is fair enough.


If I had no savings I would have been entitled to around a 40% reduction.


Since then I have spent most of my savings on my house and a reasonable second hand small car.

Today I rang my local council to ask if I am now entitled to council tax reduction as I now have very little in savings.


Since last year my pension has increased to £155 per week. The council said that despite not having any savings I'm not entitled to any reduction because my private pension income is above £74 per week and I will have to pay the full council tax. 


I assume that the rules have changed since last year.


However, I know several single people who live on benefits and some receive more than my pension who pay no council tax at all. My good lady friend who lives about five miles from me receives £130 per week in benefits doesn't have to pay any council tax.


Why does the £74 per week threshold apply to people on occupational pension and not to people living on benefits?


Any advice would be much appreciated.



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new thread merged with you existing thread about how each year since 2014 you've asked this same question so people have the full story

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Thanks dx100uk for your incorrect assumptions regarding merging my new thread with the old thread.

My old thread was based upon circumstances which were completely different when I lived in South Gloucestershire.


For the past three years I have been living in Caerphilly under a different council and different rules.

Therefore my new thread was perfectly legitimate with no reference or connection to the old thread.

However, if you think that Caerphilly is in South Gloucestershire then I stand corrected.


Maybe you would become a better and more competent member of the site team if you attended

a course in Geography.




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And this weeks Entry for “Website’s most passive aggressive posting” is ...... CMW’s post, above.


CMW : do you think such a post makes people more or less likely to contribute info / offer help?

Edited by BazzaS
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