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I've checked the other recent threads and can't seem to find one that matches my question.



For the record, can I just say that, I do owe some money and can pay it, it is the overcharge and the involvement of HCEOs and ignoring of my letters that has made me dig my heels in.



It started with an old let to buy property I had. The tenants moved out last year (2013) in early March. I didn't want to rent it out again, it had been with the same tenants for about 12 years, and I only left them there, because I don't like throwing someone out on the street (rent was part paid with benefits) and never thought they'd be there that long.



So, I went down to the property (about 100 miles from where I live) to start putting it back in order and then discuss with EAs about selling it. For all intents and purposes, the property was empty apart from my spare time when I could get down, to do it up.



I wrote to the local council to ask about what exemptions from tax I got, because it was empty - I think it is only one month's tax. They never replied to that. Time went on in 2013, with a fair bit of work needed doing and the first buyer (Nov 2013) pulling out just as we were about to exchange.



We eventually exchanged with a new buyer in Feb 2014. In this second period I received the HCEO letter, no LBA from the council, no letter from the magistrates court about the impending case and no letter to say the case had been tried in my absence. Just a bill from the HCEO, for the whole period, no discount for empty property, no discount for new buyer moving in about 6 weeks before the tax year ended, but court and bailiff costs added.



I have had a letter from the bailiffs and a hand delivered letter, interestingly, the amount remained the same, except for the original bailiff fees. It's also causing them a problem, that the CT on the property, no longer belongs to me (so no point in visiting it) and my current home is nowhere near the old council.



I would have got around to this sooner, but I had a stroke earlier this year and spent two months in hospital and I'm still recovering from the stroke.



Is there any way I can just pay the original amount of CT, with discount applied and early leaving discount, and not pay court or bailiff costs?

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you have a liability order?

if the amount is wrong, cld try get the council/mags to substitute it for the correct amount. the mags have the power to do so (local govt act '03).

eg #71 here http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?423547-My-council-tax-summons../page4

the 'fees'/costs wld prob still stand accordingly as mentioned there.

council shld've sent their 'summons' prior, and comms prior to that, but a summons is a must.


if think that there is any procedural improprieties etc, cld try for a quash/set aside. eg


s82 Local Govt Act 03 which gives councils power to apply to mags to quash (or substitute) an LO. mags can then quash if 'satisfied that a liability order should not have been made'.


and re common law, http://www.greenhalghkerr.com/articl...bility-orders/ (but, double check this case law is still current)


as seen there, it wld ordinarily be difficult to set asidelink3.gif/quash.


then, there is also Judicial Review if you think that there has been some illegality, impropriety, etc. (note the time limits re JR)




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A Liability Order has been obtained and the 'effect' of this is that you are now legally obliged to pay the amount stated on the Liability Order together with the bailiff fees (either £75 if payment made during the 'Compliance Stage' or an additional fee of £235 if a personal visit is made to the property.


Under the new regulations that came into effect on 6th April the position now is that form ANY payment made (whether to the council OR the bailiff company) the Compliance Fee of £75 is deducted at source. The balance of payment is then calculated on a 'pro rata' basis with approx 70% of the payment going towards the debt to the council and 30% towards the remaining bailiff fees of £235.


There is a possibility of 'setting aside' a Liability Order. This is a rare procedure and the chances of success even rarer. I would strongly suggest that you call the council TODAY and if an error has been made, an amendment can be made. This is for the local authority to address.


The position of the bailiff is simply that they are 'commanded' to enforce the warrant/liability order.

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Thanks for the replies so far. Also, what is the likelihood of the bailiffs handing back the debt, as it is now over a year since the court date and liability order?

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Thanks for the replies so far. Also, what is the likelihood of the bailiffs handing back the debt, as it is now over a year since the court date and liability order?


A Liability Order is not affected by the Limitations Act. However, a very significant ruling from the Valuation Office is proving very useful at this present time but given that you LO was only a year ago this ruling would not assist you at all.


Bailiff companies return Liability Order to local authorities all the time in cases where there is no future likelihood of recovery. As i said earlier, you really do need to speak with the local authority (asap).

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