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Jacobs bailiff threatening me with arrest warrant. Any advice?

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Hi, and sorry if this is a long post, but I’ve found myself in a bit of a situation and I’m getting absolutely nowhere with anyone, so hoping someone might be able to give me some advice. I’ll try and keep it as short as possible.

 

I moved into my private rented property last October, and the Landlord told me that council tax was included in my rent.

I’ve never had a council tax bill, letter or anything for the last year, I just assumed what he told me was right and never worried about it.

 

Two nights ago I got a knock on my door at almost 6pm.

Answering it, I found a bailiff standing on the doorstep telling me that he was here to collect £1532 in full or remove my goods.

To say it was a shock was an understatement.

 

Had a short conversation with him, and it appears there has been no council tax paid for my property since November last year.

 

I have apparently been taken to court in August (though I’ve never received any paperwork or summons etc) nor as I said have I ever received anything from the council in my name other than electoral roll forms.

 

I told the bailiff the situation with regards to my landlord supposedly paying the council tax on the property, and he advised me to get in touch with him.

It was all very polite.

 

my landlord is currently out of the country and isn’t going to be back until after the new year, so obviously I can’t take the matter up with him just yet.

 

I called the bailiff the following day, and his attitude had completely changed.

He demanded I pay in full or he was and I quote

“getting into my house and taking everything he could to pay my debt”

he wouldn’t listen to me at all and treated me as if I was a second class citizen.

 

I appreciate I may have been a little naive in believing my landlord, and now realise that it’s my responsibility to ensure the council tax was paid. But this is the first time I’ve had to deal with finances as my ex husband dealt with everything for the past twenty years. Stupidly naive I know.

 

As I can’t get hold of my landlord, I thought it better to start paying off the debt now, rather than waiting to speak to him, so I asked the bailiff if we could set up a payment plan so I could start paying. He told me that yes, if I was willing to pay £367 a month he’d agree to a payment plan.

 

I explained to him that due to my circumstances (ex husband fractured my skull so I’m no longer able to work) I am unfortunately in receipt of universal credits (I have worked every day of my life since I was 15) and I get the grand total of £317.12 a month for myself and my thirteen year old son, so I simply couldn’t afford to pay £367 a month. So he lowered his offer to £307 a month!!

 

again I explained that it was simply impossible for me to pay that amount as it would leave us just £10 a month to live on.

He told me that it was £307 a month or payment in full.

Failing that he would get an arrest warrant due to failure to pay.

 

I am wanting to start paying this debt off, but I am getting anywhere with anyone.

 

Im classed by my doctor as a vulnerable person due to my mental health problems (I hit rock bottom a few years ago and attempted suicide due to the abuse from my ex husband) I suffer crippling depression, anxiety and frequent panic attacks, not to mention frequent blackouts due to the fractured skull.

 

The bailiffs have been told I’m a vulnerable person, and have marked it on their file, but are still coming to my home daily, threatening me with arrest and removal of property.

 

Im not trying avoid paying this debt, I want to get this sorted but no one will help.

 

Any ideas on what I should do?

Any advice would be appreciated.

thank you, and again sorry for the long post :)

Edited by dx100uk
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first

there is no right of force entry over a CTAX debt and it is extremely rare for anyone who cant pay rather than WONT pay to be arrested

sadly you seem to have a bailiff that likes to frighten people.

 

you can all but ignore him if you wish, though the fees that he has now added are due so that's another +£300 added to the bill.

 

are the council aware of your vulnerabilities are you getting CTAX/Housing benefits? it sounds ike you should have been.

 

 

Ring the council tell them what has happened they might well roll things back for you and help

 

also contact you local councillor NOW got ring them on their mobile, tell them too, they will help and are duty bound to help you sort this out.


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thank you for your reply.

 

I spent most of the day yesterday on the phone to the council and the court.

 

The council were really uninterested I’m afraid, they told me that because it’s now in the hands of the bailiffs I have to deal with them.

the courts were more helpful thankfully and explained things to me a little better.

 

Apparently, even though it’s now at the ‘compliance’ stage, I should be able to fill in a means form from the bailiffs and set up a payment agreement.

 

I asked the bailiff for a form but he flatly refused to give me one saying that time has passed :(

 

I’ve never claimed any sort of benefits before, nor did I imagine I ever would, I’m a grafter, but unfortunately my circumstances mean that I can’t work, not that I won’t. And it’s all a bit complicated I will admit. I have got an appointment next week to see someone about council tax benefits that I can get help with or so I’m told.

 

The last thing I want is this hanging over my head, I’m struggling enough trying to support my son and a house on a meagre amount of money.

I don’t actually own much property, I walked away from my marriage with absolutely nothing.

The only things of value really are my sons PS4 and his iPad, and obviously I don’t want them taking.

The poor boy isn’t going to get a Christmas so the last thing I want is his stuff taking for a debt that clearly isn’t his.

 

Im trying to do the right thing by paying off this debt but feel like I’m banging my head against a brick wall.

Edited by dx100uk
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As you are in receipt of Universal Credit, I would have thought that you would qualify for council tax relief. If so, you would most likely need to ask your local authority to give consideration to backdating your claim. Some councils are better than others with accepting backdated claims.

 

Even if you did not qualify (which I doubt would be the case), you would be entitled to Single Person Discount which would reduce the overall bill by approx. 25%. It is vitally important that you contact the council as soon as possible and explain to them what has happened.

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Contact your local councillor as already advised and appraise them of the situation. Don't let the bailiff in, as you have been told there is no right of forced entry nor arrest at this stage. It would be worth telling the councillor that the bailiff is making unjustified threats of arrest that don't exist at this stage.


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I phones the council four times yesterday and explained the situation to them. They are fully aware of the situation, and went as far as to admit that no letters were sent in my name regarding council tax (it was all in my landlords name until yesterday) They have told me that there’s nothing they can do to help me as it’s now in the hands of the bailiffs :(

the bailiffs office have told me that I need to phone the council.

I feel like I’m being passed from pillar to post and getting nowhere:(

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just to clarify here

you DO NOT LET HIM IN. EVER.

he cant take anything if you don't.

 

the only thing that maybe at risk is your car being temporarily clamped if you have one

might be better to get it out the way, can you lock it in a garage or behind locked gates?

 

have you checked your lease

it should tell you about ctax and who pays it.

it might well be the LL should be but hasn't hence its defaulted to you and why you've had no prior notice.

 

are you SURE you are speaking to the COUNCIL not Capita as them manage many CTAX debts for councils and will not tell you the truth.


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

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s would collapse overnight.

 

 

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They are fully aware of the situation, and went as far as to admit that no letters were sent in my name regarding council tax (it was all in my landlords name until yesterday)(

 

You need to ask the council for the date that the court granted a Liability Order and crucially; you need to ask them whose name the summons and the Liability Order were addressed to.

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That is an interesting situation as there is no actual Liability Order against you. makes me wonder therefore if the Bailiff can continue enforcement against you.


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Do as BA suggests and definitely inform your local councillor if the Liability Order was taken out in the LLs name tell them that also. Do not let him in, if you feel he might try to barge past you do not open the door speak through the letterbox, and tell him he is not coming in and cannot have you arrested.

 

@ploddertom, yes strange that according to post#6 by coco:

 

I phones the council four times yesterday and explained the situation to them. They are fully aware of the situation, and went as far as to admit that no letters were sent in my name regarding council tax (it was all in my landlords name until yesterday) They have told me that there’s nothing they can do to help me as it’s now in the hands of the bailiffs "

 

Definitely one for Councillors as it looks a dodgy Enforcement possibly.


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Definitely one for Councillors as it looks a dodgy Enforcement possibly.

 

Personally, I would not bother with Councillors at this stage.

 

What needs to be established is confirmation from the Council that until yesterday, all correspondence (which would include the summons and the Liability Order) had been in the name of the landlord. Frankly, I am doubtful that this would be the case. If a Local Authority tried altering the NAME on a court order it would be a VERY SERIOUS matter indeed. Best to wait until the OP has spoken with the council.

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Personally, I would not bother with Councillors at this stage.

 

What needs to be established is confirmation from the Council that until yesterday, all correspondence (which would include the summons and the Liability Order) had been in the name of the landlord. Frankly, I am doubtful that this would be the case. If a Local Authority tried altering the NAME on a court order it would be a VERY SERIOUS matter indeed. Best to wait until the OP has spoken with the council.

 

Hi there,

 

You may be in the right or in the wrong but right now your FIRST point of call should be your local Councillor / Head of council. These details are available on the web, there should be a mobile and email for each one.

 

The Council switchboard will not listen to you, the Bailiffs won't listen to you, any council jobsworth won't listen to you. I have been there, and can honestly say I might as well have been talking to a brick wall.

 

Your local elected voice will a: Be happy to listen to you and

B: Have the power to stop this in it's tracks

C: Be able to arrange an easy payment plan if it turns out you do owe the council

 

Plus look online for your local council's code of practice. There will be a section that includes vulnerability, send that onto them too. Please listen to me I speak from experience, this could all be over by lunchtime, just listen to me.


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Personally, I would not bother with Councillors at this stage.

 

What needs to be established is confirmation from the Council that until yesterday, all correspondence (which would include the summons and the Liability Order) had been in the name of the landlord. Frankly, I am doubtful that this would be the case. If a Local Authority tried altering the NAME on a court order it would be a VERY SERIOUS matter indeed. Best to wait until the OP has spoken with the council.

 

It certainly won't be - I've never once come across this happening and no council is actually stupid enough to do it.

 

I moved into my private rented property last October, and the Landlord told me that council tax was included in my rent.

I’ve never had a council tax bill, letter or anything for the last year, I just assumed what he told me was right and never worried about it.

 

The landlord cannot override council tax liability. Liability is determined by law and unless certain specific situations occur the tenant will be liable for the council tax charge - a landlord (as could anyone) can pay a bill in the name of the liable person but the liable person is still determined in legislation and would be responsible for any default in payment.

 

As part of being instructed the enforcement agents are given the date the liability order is granted and the amount but other than that they get very little. The council will be able to provide the further details of when it was granted, where paperwork etc was issued. I suspect there's a lot being lost in translation here - have the enforcement agents actually told you what name is on the liability order ?

 

If a council tax charge isn't in your name you have no liability and thus cannot claim council tax reduction in any case (you must have a council tax charge in your name to claim).

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That is an interesting situation as there is no actual Liability Order against you. makes me wonder therefore if the Bailiff can continue enforcement against you.

 

If there's not a live liability order in a person's name then any enforcement would have to cease as it would be invalid.

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If all the letters were sent to the LL and the Liability order sent to the LL, they cannot change it over night and have to start proceedings from scratch again. Maybe someone with more knowledge can confirm? Not sure if you can go back to court on this one as surely the order was against the LL?

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Time to start putting things in writing as well. Names / Dates / Times and keep a log of everything that is said to you, over the phone, through the door / whatever.

 

As has already been said, never let a bailiff in, they have no grounds to enter unless you invite them in for this type of debt. If you have a car / bike then park it away from home or if you have a neighbour who has a private driveway and is happy to let you use it, you can park it there and they can't enter to touch it / though I would park it away from home personally. Especially as this operative seems to like to intimidate or not follow the rules. You may also wish to make a complaint about the operative too.

 

If you can, get hold of copies of the letters sent to the LL. I would forward copies on to the court that has dealt with this too. The Liability Order, as ss002d6252 has said would have to cease if not in the right name.

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It certainly won't be - I've never once come across this happening and no council is actually stupid enough to do it.

 

 

 

The landlord cannot override council tax liability. Liability is determined by law and unless certain specific situations occur the tenant will be liable for the council tax charge - a landlord (as could anyone) can pay a bill in the name of the liable person but the liable person is still determined in legislation and would be responsible for any default in payment.

 

As part of being instructed the enforcement agents are given the date the liability order is granted and the amount but other than that they get very little. The council will be able to provide the further details of when it was granted, where paperwork etc was issued. I suspect there's a lot being lost in translation here - have the enforcement agents actually told you what name is on the liability order ?

 

If a council tax charge isn't in your name you have no liability and thus cannot claim council tax reduction in any case (you must have a council tax charge in your name to claim).

 

Agree with this.

 

Was there any kind of lease with the rental? Perhaps there would be something on there about CT liability.

A small point, but someone said "bailiffs have to be invited in", they do not. They can effect entry via "any normal means" if a door is open the bailiff can enter by it, so make sure doors are closed and locked.


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though the OP wanted help...

 

they've not been back to CAG in 5days

 

7th December 2018 19:40


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

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s would collapse overnight.

 

 

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though the OP wanted help...

 

they've not been back to CAG in 5days

 

7th December 2018 19:40

 

No fly's on you DX :


DO NOT PAY UPFRONT FEES TO COLD CALLERS PROMISING TO WRITE OFF YOUR DEBTS

DO NOT PAY UPFRONT FEES FOR COSTLY TELEPHONE CONSULTATIONS WITH SO CALLED "EXPERTS" THEY INVARIABLY ARE NOTHING OF THE SORT

BEWARE OF QUICK FIX DEBT SOLUTIONS, IF IT LOOKS LIKE IT IS TO GOOD TO BE TRUE IT INVARIABLY IS

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Just hope they havent gone over to those "other" forums and took advice there.


Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

If my advice helps you, click the star icon at the bottom of my post and feel free to say thanks

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I advised someone who posted about Proserve getting money for non residents debt to post on CAG on a Facebork local issues page to gat appropriate advice, but was flamed and several others pointed the victim to the FaceBork pages...

 

You can lead the horse to water......


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The bailiff: A 12th Century solution re-branded as Enforcement Agents for the 21st Century to seize and sell debtors goods as before Oh so Dickensian!

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All depends on which version they want to believe - they don't care which one is actually correct.


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