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Hello,

 

I am in a very difficult situation with Wandsworth council over council tax.

 

This started back last year with when I moved into a shared property with some other people and for some reason the Council tax was put under my name and the name of someone else that didn't live here. The council never sent me a bill or any correspondence until I received a summons for none payment of council tax. At this point I emailed them and explained I live in a shared house with other people and I had not received any bill and the bill should not be in my sole name. I was then informed that someone would look into this and get back to me.

 

The next thing I heard was a Bailiff coming to my door threatening to take my stuff away or I have to pay the full amount plus over 20% of fees on top. I contacted the council again asking about any appeal or the fact that the bill is not solely mine, it took them 2 weeks to reply by email which they told me that I have had the chance to appeal and that they sent me a multiple occupancy form, which they never did. They also told me to contact the Bailiff from now on.

 

The worse thing about this is I suffer from PSTD and extreme bouts of depression and I have recently been laid off because me taking time off because of this situation to go back on medication and into therapy. Before this I had been medication free for over a year.

 

I feel I have been treated most unfairly and all I wanted was the chance to pay the bill in installments and for the bill not to be solely my responsibly.

 

Is there anything I can do? as the situation seems to be getting worse no matter what I try.

 

Thanks!

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A long time seems to have elapsed from when you contacted Wandsworth last year until now when a bailiff has visited. Did you make any follow up enquiries with the council?

 

Before a bailiff visit you should have received a Notice of Enforcement from the enforcement company. A Compliance fee of £75 would have been added at it is at this stage that a payment proposal should be made and any evidence regarding 'vulnerability' provided. Did you respond to the Notice of Enforcement (maybe by phone etc)?

 

The position with council tax bills is that whilst all residents are liable the council can address the liability to one individual.

 

How much is the debt that the bailiff is seeking to enforce?

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If you have separate tenancy agreements then, under Council Tax law, CT becomes the liability of landlord not the tenants. Individual tenants are not responsible for CT and can't be issued with a shared CT bill.

 

I live in a privately rented 2 bed house. Occasionally I advertise for a housemate. The landlord then issues separate tenancy agreements. The council closed my CT account, refunded all my/our payments and sent the landlord a bill for the last two years CT liability for my home.

 

For 11 months during this period, I was the sole occupant holding a full tenancy agreement for the whole house. The CT liabilty was very obviously mine, not the landlords, so I have appealed.

 

Under the Housing Act 2006, a shared house with less than three tenants is exempt from being classified as an HMO but for CT purposes, it is classified as a HMO and the landlord is liable.

 

It's complicated but if you have an individual tenancy agreement or if there are three or more people sharing, the liability rests with the Landlord.

 

If you haven't received either a CT bill or the summons, perhaps it was sent to the Landlord.

 

 

Impecunious

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