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Council Tax Reduction- dependant?


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You need to get some assistance sorting the council tax liability etc sorted as it needs to be taken out of your name. The payment for now will stop the imminent action and the rest is a little way off yet before it becomes a problem (assuming it's next year's bill).

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1 hour ago, ss002d6252 said:

To be paid by 1 April or on 1 April?  Is it next year's bill?

They told me it had all been lumped into together, so I thought whatever they had sent me included the upcoming year, since they only just sent the paperwork out. They've given me 25% off and that's it. I can't pay and they take forever to sort anything out, so I can't imagine it'll be resolved by the end of the month. 

 

1 hour ago, ss002d6252 said:

You need to get some assistance sorting the council tax liability etc sorted as it needs to be taken out of your name. The payment for now will stop the imminent action and the rest is a little way off yet before it becomes a problem (assuming it's next year's bill).

 

They want it by 1st April this year, so if I don't pay will they not take action straight away?

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They've asked for £280 by end of March for last year's bill and then another £160 by 1st April, which is the first installment for the forthcoming year.

 

Sorry if I seem like I'm not really with it. I was in a&e til 3am this morning, so a bit sleep deprived.

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Ah Ok, as it's next year's charge the first payment is due on 1 April - you can pay it earlier but it's not due until that day. Next year isn't an issue for now as it's at least 14 days away before it starts getting at the point where it may start to cause issues.

The arrears will continue to cause issues until their either paid or the liability issue is sorted out properly.
 

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  • 1 month later...

Hi everyone,

 

I'm still trying to resolve this issue. 

 

I tried emailing the local council and I haven't had a response, because of their back log. I tried calling today and they're giving me the same answer. 

 

They've said that my mum is SMI so she can no longer be liable for the bill and therefore it cannot be in her name. She can only be listed as one of the people who loves there.

 

They've asked me to fill in a form as a residential carer to get more of a discount, but insist that the bill be in my name because I'm the only other person who lives there.

 

I even told the person about the legislation from central government and she's told me that every local council is different, which completely baffled me. She's asked me to email again, but before I do, is there anything else in the legislation that says regardless of SMI, the hierarchy in the legislation should be respected? I.e. the home owner should always be the first person responsible for the council tax bill.

 

I am honestly at the end of my tether. I got so frustrated that they called the police because they thought I was going to harm myself. I cannot cope with all of this back and forth and round in circles. It's seriously affecting my health. Being a carer round the clock is hard enough without all of this upheaval. I really would appreciate further advice.

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The council cannot override statue although some try

- I spend all day, every day, battling with local authorities and it can get frustrating, even for those who know the system.

 

I had an email today from someone who had been arguing with the council for month over a similar issue, it was only once I got involved that they backed off and acknowledged she was correct. It shouldn't take a person to have to get help to sort what should be a relatively easy issue.

 

The simple point is that liability does not drop down-over just because a person is SMI, SMI status only works where a person is jointly liable and that other party is resident (or neither party is resident) in the property.

 

It would appear that the local authority do not understand council tax liability and based on what you say they are clearly wrong in how they are attempting to implement liability under s6.

 

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 I am at a complete loss.

I don't know who to speak to or email.

 

It's totally and completely absurd to me that someone who works there in that department is unaware of the existence and content of the legislation that underpins what they work with.

 

I don't even know what to say anymore.

I just don't want that bill in my name of it's not meant to be and I don't think that's a lot to ask.

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Before we become the Republic of South Glos and apparently have our own set of laws and even maybe moving to speaking our own language, where can I find someone like you in my area to speak to them, because it seems like they won't take any notice of me.

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Hi

 

You have been given some excellent advice

 

Could I just ask as your mother due to her medical condition is classed as SMI do you have Power of 
Attorney (POA) for your mother?

 

When you initially informed the council you were living in the property as your mothers carer did they
send out a Change in Circumstances Form for you to complete or a blank new Council Tax form to fill in?

 

Challenging a Council can be very difficult especially if they know they are in the wrong but don't want to
admit it and dig there heels in and throw any confusing dribble at you in the hope you will go away.

 

I fought my own council for over 4 yrs as refused council tax reduction, outcome they lost big time and had to pay back 4 yrs CTR & £££££££ compensation.

 

I do agree you could do with help locally to assist you in challenging this with the council. (in your search engine just type 'carers south gloucestershire') contact them and just explain you are a carer for mother who is smi and council tax issue and if they would be able to help or point you to someone else)

I would also recommend that you need to write to the council and place this in-dispute (title letter 'Formal Complaint Council Tax') and make such and keep a copy and get free proof of posting.

(do not contact them by phone put everything in writing, you need to keep a good paper trail of evidence)

 

Note: the reason I say to place this in dispute is when you get there acknowledgement of receipt of your complaint what comes into force is they need to use the legislation / Regulations that were in force at the date of councils acknowledgement letter. (if they then try to use any updates / changes made to that legislation/regulation after that date it's a no no as they were not in force at the date of your complaint but they will always try as people are unaware of this)
 

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I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

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  • 3 weeks later...

 

 

Hi Stu,

 

Thank you for your reply.

 

Yes, I have been given excellent advice so far, but South Glos so far have been very unresponsive- I still haven't heard back from the email I sent.

 

I do have POA for my mother; does that make a difference in terms of naming me as the person accountable for the bill?

 

As far as I can remember- given that this is a good 9 months ago now. I filled in an SMI form and a change of circumstances form. I filled in a form as they requested to put the council tax in my name and then one to apply for a discount on top of that.

 

Thank you for the advice- I will put together a letter and send it off and contact my local carers' support centre and see what they recommend. So far, people are a bit baffled as to why this has happened. They're not sure if it's to do with my POA.

 

It's been so stressful and after all this time I've actually gone and got a job, so I'm no longer on carer's allowance, so not sure where that leaves me.

 

I haven't told them I'm starting my role on Monday, because I don't want to over complicate the issue.

I would rather that they get the named person on the bill right before they do anything else.

Obviously, we'll be living in virtual reality before this happens!

 

Last time I spoke to them, I said the issue made me feel like I wanted to hang myself and they called the police on me, fearing for my safety.

 

I explained to the person about the legislation and that all I wanted was a response and for someone to look seriously at my case.

 

Please could someone let me know if having POA means that the bill needs to be in my name?

At the moment, only I am named on the bill.

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POA makes no difference. Just means you can act on your Mums behalf.

 

Suggest writing to the Chairperson of your local council, with copies of all relevant documents. E.g. Those showing your Mum owns the house with ex partner who no longer lives at the address. Copies of PIP document showing enhanced award/SMI, copy of PoA, copy of Carers Allowance document showing you are carer.  Explain that the Council have made an error in law, quoting the legislation referred to in this thread. Ask that this is rectified ASAP, with Council Tax account put on hold while this is being investigated and necessary actions taken. Make sure you quote all Council Tax account numbers, if yours is now different to your Mums.

 

South Gloucs council have a Chairperson as head of the council, hence why I suggest writing to them.

We could do with some help from you.

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On 18/05/2019 at 22:14, purple_rain said:

I explained to the person about the legislation and that all I wanted was a response and for someone to look seriously at my case.

 

I dealt with a case that's just ended after around 2 months of back & forwards just to get the result I told them was correct from the very start - if they'd listened it would have saved plenty of time (and money). Drove me to distraction (and the client felt worse) before someone with a bit sense finally looked.

 

Quote

Please could someone let me know if having POA means that the bill needs to be in my name? 

At the moment, only I am named on the bill.

No it doesn't - POA has no effect on council tax liability

Edited by ss002d6252
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  • 6 months later...

open

 

dx

 

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

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Hello everyone,

 

Sorry it's taken this long to update you.

 

I have been back and forth with the local council.

 

They had sent me numerous bills and every time, I responded via email to say, "I don't live there, I am not liable due to the legislation in place."

 

By chance I was speaking on the local radio about caring issues with my mother and I got to put my question to the local council leader and then his assistant's details were passed onto me and I contacted him last week as a last resort and explained I couldn't get anyone to listen to what I had to say.

 

I've since had the following reply by post:

 

"I am writing in response to the concerns you have raised on 18th November 2019 in my role as Senior Revenues Officer for Council Tax. I am sorry that you have had cause to raise your concerns in this instance and I will respond below.

 

20th November 2018- Severe Mental Impairment form received in respect of your mother

 

10th December 2018- Severe Mental Impairment form issued to doctor for completion and letter issued to you for benefit evidence along with Residential Carers application for completion.

 

17th December 2018- Benefit evidence received

 

21st December 2018- completed Severe Mental Impairment for received from doctor

 

3rd January 2019- Council tax records updated in respect of SMI discount for your mother. Council tax account for your mother closed and new account set up in your name with discount applied for your mother.

 

4th January 2019- Council tax bills issued to reflect the changes.

 

6th February 2019- Local Council Tax Reduction (LCTR) application received by our Benefits department in your name.

 

Following a review of your Council tax account, I can advise that based on information held at the time, when the completed Severe Mental Impairment forms were received in January 2019, our records were updated to show you as the liable party for Council tax with your mother disregarded for Council tax purposes due to severe mental Impairment. Bills were issued accordingly.

 

I note that we received an email from you in April that advised that your mother solely owned the property but unfortunately our records were not updated to reflect this information and would apologise for this oversight.

 

However, I can confirm our records have now been updated to show your mother as solely liable for Council at the property with a discount in place for severe mental impairment as you were also resident at the property until the end of May 2019. An exemption is in place from June 2019 onwards after you left the property.

 

Our records show that you were in receipt of Local Council Tax Reduction from our benefits department whilst the Council tax account was in your name.

 

The changes that have been carried out to the accounts have resulted in a charge of £528.76 on your mothers account up to the end of May 2019 as LCTR had been awarded to you and not your mother.

 

However, there is a credit of £445.89 from your previous account in your name following payments made to the account in February and July 2019.

 

I can confirm that if you are happy for this credit to be used to reduce the charge on your mother's account, due to the distress and inconvenience that has been caused in this matter, as a gesture of goodwill we can look to clear the remaining charge on the account.

 

if you would like this to be carried out, please advise us accordingly."

 

They then continue to apologise, talk about retraining and what I should do by 20th December if I'm not happy with his response.

 

I just want to make sure I've understood what he's saying correctly- so they've admitted the bill should have never been in my name? The bill should have been in my mum's name and she was billed for the period I was living there because I was a resident in her home and this is why she owes £528.76?

 

I know at some point we were sent letters for court summons and the bill was in my name.

Would this have affected my credit rating?

 

Lastly, is it unreasonable to expect more compensation because of how lengthy and stressful this has been?

I moved out of my mother's home because of this, because no one would listen to me when I told them I wasn't the owner.

I was literally banging my head against the brick wall.

 

I emailed them and they only replied to some of them and all the wanted to do is chase me down at my partner's address.

He said I emailed in April about my mother being the owner, but in reality, I had explained to people numerous times on the phone, from the start and I was an unpaid carer which is also down to the oversight of the local council.

I wouldn't have been able to afford the council tax bill.

 

they sent police round to my house without telling me over the phone, when I wasn't there and frightened my mum. For all this they're offering me around £80 goodwill.

 

Thanks in advance for any info/advice.

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Why do think you were resident at your Mothers house until end of May 2019 ?

 

it appears that their calculations are based on this presumption.

We could do with some help from you.

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I had been living there since December 2015.

I moved in to take care of her as she has Alzheimer's.

 

She had refused care from the council initially and then when she did want someone it took the council a yr to find an agency.

I moved out earlier this yr because frankly I got a bit worried about it all.

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Is there any information in the Councils letter which is not correct ?

 

 

We could do with some help from you.

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So is there are question mark about your ex step Dad having any liability for Council Tax ?

 

If this is a question you have for the Council, then ask the Council.

 

If your ex step Dad has no liability for Council Tax, as he does not live at the address, then it appears you have no ongoing issue with the Council, apart from you wanting more compensation for the issues they have caused you.  If you want more compensation from the Council, then you accept the general information in their letter, but state reasons why you believe their offer falls short. 

 

 

We could do with some help from you.

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 Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

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49 minutes ago, purple_rain said:

The latest one? Yes, my mum isn't the sole owner.

The property is jointly owned with my ex step dad but he doesn't live there.

It makes no difference at all as he isn't resident - it would only make a difference if the house was to become empty (and then non-resident joint owners become liable).

Quote

I just want to make sure I've understood what he's saying correctly- so they've admitted the bill should have never been in my name?

Yes - they have confirmed it was wrong (told you so 👍 )

Quote

The bill should have been in my mum's name and she was billed for the period I was living there because I was a resident in her home and this is why she owes £528.76?

Yes , but they it appears they want to write off the balance to settle the account

Quote

 

 I know at some point we were sent letters for court summons and the bill was in my name.

Would this have affected my credit rating?

 

No

Quote

 

Lastly, is it unreasonable to expect more compensation because of how lengthy and stressful this has been?

I moved out of my mother's home because of this, because no one would listen to me when I told them I wasn't the owner.

I was literally banging my head against the brick wall.

 

Unlikely but you could ask. Only the LGO would have the powers to actually 'suggest' compensation and that would be unlikely where the council are already offering to write off the balance.

 

 

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1 hour ago, ss002d6252 said:

It makes no difference at all as he isn't resident - it would only make a difference if the house was to become empty (and then non-resident joint owners become liable).

Yes - they have confirmed it was wrong (told you so 👍 )

Yes , but they it appears they want to write off the balance to settle the account

No

Unlikely but you could ask. Only the LGO would have the powers to actually 'suggest' compensation and that would be unlikely where the council are already offering to write off the balance.

 

 

Thank you. I was hoping you would reply.

 

I wouldn't ask for more compensation normally but this local council has messed up so much. I felt forced to move out of my mum's and I was her full time carer. I think this has caused her to decline even quicker because of the lack of facilities that the council were able to put in place afterwards. I wouldn't have moved out if I felt someone was listening but various attempts at email and phone showed me that no one was ever going to listen and it was never going to be resolved until I move out. I just think the process has been unfair on me and my mum and I'm angry and frustrated.

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