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Hi Guys,

 

I have recently received a letter from a collection agency demanding I pay the sum of £419.42 in relation to council tax owed to Plymouth City Council from 2011.

 

I have sent a number of emails to Plymouth City Council asking why I owe this money.

 

After completing my degree in 2011 I was forced to sign on and claim housing benefit as there was no suitable work available.

My degree was a complete waste of money, but that's a separate issue.

 

After sending and receiving a number of emails they have eventually told me that the reason I owe the money is down to the fact I never informed them of my address change, when I moved out of my student house and into another house share.

 

However, this is not true I remember distinctly informing them and this was reaffirmed to them again at a later date when I was forced to claim JSA again after securing a month's work.

 

They have gone to the Magistrates Court and obtained a Liability Order,

which I believe has been done falsely as I do not owe the money because I was exempt.

 

I raised a complaint but they are not budging on their position.

 

Is there anything I can do?

Any help greatly appreciated.

 

Cheers,

 

Jake

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collection agency? or bailiff?


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

 

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Hi,

 

The letter I have is from a company called Equita and they are warning me that my debt may go to enforcement action.

 

Jake

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bailiffs sadly

though they cant force entry anywhere.

 

so what proof have you sent the council [document wise]

that you don't owe this?


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

 

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Hi,

 

Well I asked them to check their own records which will reveal that I was in receipt of JSA and housing benefit during the period they are claiming I owe this council tax for.

 

After a number of emails they have now confirmed I was in receipt

but because they allege I did not let them know I moved to a new address in Plymouth that I have to pay this money.

 

I'm going on memory from six years ago but I know I let them know because I phoned them to update my records,

and I reaffirmed my address with them again later on when I reclaimed.

 

Back then I was entitled to council tax exemption not reduction.

This was before they changed the system.

 

Jake

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but because they allege I did not let them know I moved to a new address in Plymouth that I have to pay this money.

 

rubbish

that doesn't make an LO enforceable if it was granted under a mistake!


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

 

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Hi,

 

Well I'm encouraged to hear this but what can I do?

 

Do I need to go to court to get the Liability Order set aside?

 

Jake

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no the council will do that.

 

do you mean the LO covers a period when you can prove you were not resident there?

and even so, when you were there you were exempt?


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

 

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Hi,

 

I was resident there,

but the whole time I was in that property which was about 10 months,

bar one month when I found some work,

I was in receipt of JSA and housing benefit.

 

The council say that I didn't let them know I moved there and that's why I must pay the council tax.

 

This is incorrect because I did let them know.

But how do I prove to them I did let them know?

 

It was just a phone call to let them know I'd moved.

It's almost impossible to prove and this was 6 years ago, it's their error.

 

I also reaffirmed my address to them when I claimed JSA and housing benefit again, after a short break while I was in work.

 

Jake

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but because they allege I did not let them know I moved to a new address in Plymouth that I have to pay this money.

 

The council say that I didn't let them know I moved there and that's why I must pay the council tax.

 

I was resident there,

 

 

:noidea::noidea:


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

 

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Hi,

 

I'm not sure what you're saying. But how do I fight this as I do not owe them the money because I was in receipt of JSA and housing benefit.

 

Jake

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then get documentary evidence you were in receipt of those benefits

 

I highlighted those statements as your story doesn't make sense...

or was Plymouth another address afterwards...


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

 

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Hi,

 

What Plymouth City Council is principally saying is that they confirm I was in receipt of JSA and housing benefit at my old address before I moved.

 

At my new address, whilst still claiming, my situation remained the same and I was entitled to claim JSA and housing benefit.

 

They accept I was entitled to do this but as I didn't tell them immediately of the move

 

I have to pay council tax even though I was in receipt of JSA and housing benefit which ordinarily at that time would have exempted me from paying council tax.

 

Jake

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Hi,

 

What Plymouth City Council is principally saying is that they confirm I was in receipt of JSA and housing benefit at my old address before I moved. - moved where to the address below?

At my new address, - what new address - the one they are claiming you owe CTAX for and have an LO for?

whilst still claiming,

my situation remained the same and I was entitled to claim JSA and housing benefit.

 

They accept I was entitled to do this but as I didn't tell them immediately of the move - what move? into or out of the address they have the LO for?

 

I have to pay council tax even though I was in receipt of JSA and housing benefit which ordinarily at that time would have exempted me from paying council tax.

 

Jake

 

 

think we need a timeline here...

 

 

you need to either:

 

 

prove you were on benefits and thus not liable to pay ctax for the period of the LO the bailiffs are enforcing

or

prove you weren't resident at the LO residence for all or part of the LO period..


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

 

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Hi,

 

the Council do not want proof of benefits, they have confirmed I was in receipt of them.

They are being extremely difficult.

 

It is simply because there was a delay in telling them of my new address, that is all this is about.

 

I think they can't enforce it, but if they already have the Liability Order what can I do?

 

The timeline is that between 9/09- 10/10

I lived at one address in Plymouth which was a student house.

 

After completing my degree in June I claimed JSA and housing benefit.

I moved to a new address in Plymouth at the end of October 2010.

I continued my claim for JSA and housing benefit as I was entitled to do so.

 

I did not immediately inform the Council of my new address then called them a few weeks later to tell them I had moved.

I ended my JSA and housing benefit claim in March 2011 as I secured temporary full-time work.

 

I was then forced to claim JSA and housing benefit again in April 2010 at my new address.

I was entitled to council tax exemption.

 

it seems because there was a delay in telling the Council of my move they are telling me I have to pay council tax from the time I moved into my new address until the time I reclaimed in April 2010.

This is what the bill of £419.42 is for.

 

It just seems so ridiculous that just because there was a delay in informing the Council of my move

I now have to pay council tax for a period that I should be exempt from.

 

Jake

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Clearly there is a dispute with the council and this may well have to take the form of a formal complaint to the Head of Revenues. Until and unless the council change their position, the bailiff is entitled to continue with enforcing the debt. The bailiff has an obligation to the creditor (in this case; Plymouth Council) to enforce their warrant.

 

It the council are unwilling to change their mind, you can take you complaint to the local Government Ombudsman but this route is not one that you can take until such time as you have used up the councils complaints procedure.

 

I would suggest that you inform the council that you are wishing to make a Formal Complaint and ask that they put bailiff enforcement on hold whilst your complaint is being investigated.

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