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    • Don't think you have to inform Universal Credit of the Small Business Grant Scheme.  Reason is that it is supporting the business via local authorities, which is why it has been paid into a Business account.  It is not the same as the sell employment grant being paid out from June 2020, which is going to be treated as earnings for Universal Credit purposes.   DWP are updating the following linked page with any Coronavirus information related to Universal Credit.   As you will see the Small Business Grant Scheme is not noted.   https://www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/coronavirus/   You mention the Business is hers and why should you be affected.  Under Universal Credit, as a couple living together, your claims have been linked together as a benefit unit ( you don't have any choice, couples who live together have to have linked couple claims).  When UC issues the statement, it will be both of you as a benefit unit.  Therefore all of your joint information will affect how much UC you receive.  For example your state pension will appear as another benefit deduction, so will affect how much you receive as couple claimants.   Have a read of the Understanding Universal Credit website if you need more information on the benefit.
    • Hi  I do apologise as I don't know where to put this question.   My wife is self employed and her business is closed to to Covid 19. She has lost all future bookings  and has no earnings. I am retired with a State Pension. We have applied for Universal Credits which has been granted - payment middle of April , so that's great. We applied for the Small Business Rates Grant - £10,000 to help with business expenses - she intends to open trading again  ASAP, and there are obviously supplier contracts and services that need to be paid for, plus we modernised premises this year ( as we had lots of bookings) and our personal Credit Card debt is approx £9500.   To my surprise they have granted this and are paying money into her business account.   I know we would have to notify Universal Credit about the Grant, but would she still be entitled to U.C payments? The business is hers , so I presume I am still eligible for U.C   Many Thanks thedrunkenmonkey
    • Neighbour who has garden at end of mine (fence to right as they look down their garden but crosses various gardens as I look down from my house) is requesting that I repair a damaged fence as her dog keeps coming into my garden.   Am I responsible to repair it (my part of fence)?    I have looked at various websites but not very clear.   Neighbour said they erected and put up a fence to their left as they look down their garden but stressed that I was accountable for part of fence to the right.   Thank-you for looking at would appreciate any guidance for confirmation.    
    • Are you or do you wish to use the vehicle until we succeed with arguing and you succeed in VT?
    • Hi I hope all are ok in these trying times. I assume most of us will be in the same situation with employment etc.   I am obviously still intending to follow through my complaint against MB. However I do have to make decisions as I have found myself as will most people at this time left with a reduced minimal income, with all I can forsee is an impending up hill struggle for the forceable future.   So not sure what, if any options I still have, I am presuming VT was only an option earlier on and a court CO excludes that option,    I cant continue to honour the finance payments and cant even begin to estimate any timescales I would be again financially stable.   im trapped but want, no I need to get rid of MB all together, they can have the car and I learned the expensive way!   MB recently emailed a letter (which is copied below) in it they refer to a recent termination, this is the part that is very confusing as its my understanding they terminated the agreement in March 17.   They also inform they have placed the collections on hold, but then heres the cheeky bit, they do however want me to store the vehicle, tax and insure it, as per the agreement (the agreement that they already state was terminated) until they continue with their collection process;   Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic currently affecting the UK and wider world, we’re emailing to update you on what will now happen regarding the collection of your vehicle, following the termination of your Moneybarn vehicle finance agreement.   We won’t be collecting the vehicle at this time Normally, following termination of your agreement, we would arrange for an inspection and collection of the vehicle. However because of the current Government imposed lockdown, we are not currently able to collect vehicles until further notice.   What will happen next? Nothing for the moment. We’ll contact you as soon as there are any developments in the Government’s stance and we know that we’re able to resume our normal vehicle collection activity.   What do you need to do? We would appreciate if you can please keep the vehicle taxed and insured for the time being, as per the terms and conditions of your finance agreement. We hope this information is helpful and clear. Please stay safe and well, and if you need to contact us with any questions, please check out the latest information on the best way to reach us at   So they state termination, then expect to lay down instructions for me to comply with as per my finance agreement T&Cs. To look after the vehicle that they do intend to continue collection of.   If everythings terminated and in other words I have no right to the vehicle, Im not prepared to comply with instructions in line with a non existent agreement (I dont have to) and have a good mind to charge them storage.   However l would much rather just leave the car, send off V5 to change ownership and be done with it and concentrate on getting justice for their mistreatment.   
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Bailiff Advice

Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) decision....Vulnerability and the need to provide evidence.

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The following is another very recent decision from the Local Government Ombudsman on the subject of vulnerability. Once again, the LGO confirm that evidence needs to be provided if a person considers that they may be 'vulnerable'.

 

 

 

Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council

 

PS: The following is a short version of the decision. A link to read the full report is at the end of this post.

 

 

The complaint

 

Mr X complains that the Council has unreasonably taken Council tax enforcement action against him despite his vulnerability.

 

 

What I found

 

The law says people must pay their council tax before the installment date stated on the bill. If people pay late on more than two occasions they lose the right to pay by installments. The Council can then demand that they pay the full amount which is due for the rest of the year. If they do not pay the Council can serve a summons and ask the magistrates for a liability order.

 

A liability order is an order confirming the person must pay the council tax and costs. Further costs are incurred when magistrates grant a liability order. If someone does not pay the council tax, and the costs, the Council can ask enforcement agents to collect the debt. Enforcement agents charge fees which must also be paid.

 

Mr X has council tax arrears from 2013/14 and 2014/15. The Council has provided evidence of Mr X’s non payment of Council tax and the courts upheld the summonses when they issued the Liability Orders.

 

Mr X did not make any arrangements to pay his council tax arrears. In November 2014
Mr X told the Council he was a vulnerable person. The Council asked him to provide evidence
and held his account for a month to give him time to provide the evidence.

 

Mr X did not provide evidence
of his vulnerability and the Council sent his account to enforcement agents (bailiffs) for collection. Councils can use enforcement agents to enforce Council tax debts. Mr X says they should not be used as he is vulnerable person.

 

The enforcement agents wrote to Mr X in November 2014
asking for medical evidence of his vulnerability signed by his GP or a medical professional.
They did not receive any medical evidence from Mr X.

 

In September 2015 Mr X sent the Council a copy of a letter from his local mental health team
inviting him to an appointment
as evidence of his vulnerable status.

 

In October the enforcement agents wrote to Mr X detailing the amounts he had to pay to clear his council tax arrears.

Mr X provided the council tax department with a copy of a letter to the Housing Office on 25 January 2016 about his mental health. The Council told the enforcement agents who arranged for its welfare team to deal with him as they are experienced in dealing with vulnerable people.

 

The enforcement agents returned Mr X’s accounts to the Council as they could not contact him.

 

The Council contacted Mr X numerous times about the arrears on this council tax accounts. The law allows councils to instruct enforcement agents once the court has issued a liability order.

 

The law also says that the court costs and fees charged by the
enforcement agents must be paid.

 

Although Mr X says he is a vulnerable person, he did not provide evidence of this to the Council until January 2016. Without evidence to support Mr X’s contention that enforcement agents should not be used, there is no evidence of fault in the Council’s decision to utilise them.

 

Final decision

 

There is no evidence the Council has been unreasonable in its decision to take enforcement action against Mr X for council tax arrears.

 

 

http://www.lgo.org.uk/decisions/benefits-and-tax/council-tax/16-001-201

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Interesting


 

Yes Mark, I am Bones

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The trouble is that the famous Social Media debt groups encourage people to claim vulnerability when they get a visit from bailiffs

 

Then if that works and the bailiffs withdraw, The debtors seem to think that means they don't still have to pay the debt at all

 

I have even seen admin of the biggest group telling people to go to the doctors, Claim to be depressed and get a prescription for antidepressants, They don't actually need to take them but they can then claim vulnerability when bailiffs turn up

 

It is worrying that so many people claim vulnerability, It is no wonder that Bailiffs often ignore the claims, And it is hurting the genuinely vulnerable people

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The trouble is that the famous Social Media debt groups encourage people to claim vulnerability when they get a visit from bailiffs

 

It is worrying that so many people claim vulnerability, It is no wonder that Bailiffs often ignore the claims, And it is hurting the genuinely vulnerable people

 

I was looking at the F/B pages yesterday and noticed a query from a lady who has a 3 month old baby and 3 other children and she wanted the local authority to take the debt back from Rossendales. Apparently she has council tax arrears of £900 and the bailiff stated that he would accept a repayment arrangement of £40 per week (which is actually quite reasonable).

 

She has already paid almost £300 to Rossendales and accordingly, they would have already deducted the compliance fee in full and used part of the balance to apportion against their remaining bailiff fees.

 

She was advised to sent the useless 'vulnerable household' letter that continues to be provided on the F/B pages. This is the template that was dreamed up by the same person who flooded the internet with his daft NOROIRA (Notice of Removal of Implied Right of Access).

 

The following is taken from the local authorities reply (to her 'vulnerable household' letter):

 

I refer to your recent correspondence regarding your council tax arrears and your request for your account to be recalled from our enforcement agency due to vulnerability.

 

There is no specific definition of vulnerability within the legislation quoted, a decision of vulnerability is assessed by the persons circumstances are not on the rigid structure for example whether or not the household has children resident.

 

Your children are not the debtors as referred to in the passage of legislation that you have quoted, you are the debtor. The enforcement agent will be attending to speak to you and not to interact with any minors present.

 

If you believe that the attendance of an enforcement agent at your property would provide specific issues for your child with existing difficulties you should provide evidence to support your claim to vulnerability.

 

PS: After posting a copy of the local authorities reply....she was told to write back to the council to inform them that her 3 month old child.......is in fact a NEWBORN and that this new information will lead to the council recalling the debt !!!

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