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Council tax - please help


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Last year, I received a call from the council asking me to confirm I lived at the property in question

and telling me I was liable to pay council tax.

 

 

I agreed and explained that the property had had a provisional banding on it

and that the letting agent had told me he would contact the council.

 

 

they then sent me a letter in September, detailing the instalments I had to pay for council tax.

 

 

I called the council because the instalments were very high.

The call agent told me that a 25% discount hadn't been applied

and that I legally didn't have to pay anything as the tax band was still provisional.

 

 

I completed a discount form as advised by the call agent and

sent a covering letter, explaining what I was told over the phone.

 

 

I asked them to recalculate the amount due and send me another bill so I could pay what I was liable to.

That letter and form were sent in September.

 

 

I left the property at the end of November.

I still hadn't received a response from the council.

 

 

I called the council the day after I moved out and explained to them that I was in temporary accommodation

and that I would notify them of my next permanent address when I had one.

The council had my email address and telephone number. That was that.

 

In December, I wrote to the council, informing them of my new permanent address.

I didn't send it via recorded delivery, and now they are claiming they didn't receive it.

I was expecting the council to write to me once the tax band had been confirmed.

 

 

Instead, in july I received a Notice of Enforcement from Phoenix Commercial Collections.

I called the council who told me they would try to take the account back from the bailiffs.

 

 

The call agent said they send me a bill on 2 Dec,

another one in Dec,

another one on 7 Jan,

a reminder in Feb and

then a summons in March.

 

 

The call agent said the correspondence had been sent to my previous addresses

(the one I had moved from and the one that I had lived in prior to that!!

I've no idea who told them to send anything there.

I had moved from that property the year before!!).

 

 

Eventually, the council took the account from the bailiffs.

I asked for copies of the correspondence.

They printed off bills from my online account,

rather than sending me copies of bills they had posted.

 

The bill on 2 Dec says the reason for the bill is "account closed".

Looks like it was sent to the property in question.

I already told them I'd moved from that address when I rang in November!

 

11 Dec bill says reason for bill is "RV/Band Increase" - whatever that is.

Again, looks like it was sent to the address in question.

The amount was the same as in the previous bills.

 

7 Jan bill says reason for bill is "discount charge".

This time the 25% discount was applied.

I sent the discount form in September.

why on earth was it only just processed?

 

 

Looks like this was sent to the address I lived in prior to the address in question.

 

They didn't send me a copy of the reminder notice, the summons or the liability order.

 

Instead, I've been told I need to pay the council tax amount due (with 25% discount applied)

plus costs incurred when the summons and liability order were granted.

 

I have no issue with paying the council tax I owe.

How do I get out of paying the extra costs?

 

When I spoke to a call agent about getting the account back from the bailiffs,

she told me that she couldn't find the letter I sent in September with the form.

I told her I sent it with the form.

 

 

She later found it and said it looked like it had just been filed away.

She told me the person who had looked at my form had since left.

 

 

Not good enough - I had asked them to recalculate the amount due.

I wouldn't be in this mess if that person had done their job properly

- I would've had the bill before I left.

 

Thanks for reading.

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first stage I would advise is that you submit an Official Complaint to the manager

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first stage I would advise is that you submit an Official Complaint to the manager

 

Thank you. I will do that. I made my first payment yesterday, so they don't think I'm trying to be difficult and so that things are less stressful for me.

 

I really want to refuse to pay the additional costs, but I don't know if they will be able to take me to court for saying that.

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If you still live in the same Council area then your local Councillor(s) should be able to help you sort this.

 

Unfortunately, I don't live in the council area anymore. Thanks for your response.

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Just remember one thing in all of this. Despite anything the Council try to make you believe they are 100%responsible for the actions & charges of their contactors - in this case Bailiffs. The debt always belongs to the Council & they can ask for it back at any stage.

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Just remember one thing in all of this. Despite anything the Council try to make you believe they are 100%responsible for the actions & charges of their contactors - in this case Bailiffs. The debt always belongs to the Council & they can ask for it back at any stage.

 

Hi there,

 

The council have taken the debt back, but they expect me to pay for the costs incurred for raising the liability order and summons.

 

The council did try to tell me that they couldn't take the debt back. but I kept arguing with them, telling them that they were at fault. They eventually gave in.

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