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JAYDOUBLEU

Dealing with a Bristow & Sutor - Council Tax Debt - Im about to move

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Due to a change in circumstances i.e. self employed and injury affecting earnings I managed to get 2 months in rent arrears with private landlord and have £800 council tax owing from 2019.

 

After careful consideration I've decided to go and live with my brother for a bit, he has a house on the housing association and we get on ok + association are ok with it. Splitting all bills my outgoings drop from £1150 to £350 a month

Im sure the landlord will be ok, we have a good relationship despite the arrears, with the deposit there will just be a few hundred pounds owing which I'm sure he will be fine with me paying over a couple of months.

 

The council tax though is now with Bristow and Sutor.

I spoke with them before Christmas (I know not to make a habit but it was the last day before they threatened to take it to the next stage and it was 3 days before christmas so no way a letter would get to them)

 

I tried to agree £150 a month but they said it had to be clear by the end of march so about £270 a month.

I told her it was too much but ended up saying ok but its clear now I won't have £270 by friday when the payment is due.

 

I plan to move on the 25th of February so will be clearing out and moving to his, plan is to sell a lot of what is here because I there isn't the space at my brothers and b theres no need for 2 of everything. 

 

I guess what I'm wondering is, if I don't make this months payment I presume this is where it passes to the enforcement agent and the extra fee is added.

Im not ok with it but understand that is how it is done so no point arguing it.

 

What sort of payment is the agent like to accept?,

will this be treated as just a debt and less urgent?,

 

I can reasonably pay it off in 4 or 5 months but the woman on the phone was pretty unreasonable and laid down the law.

Don't they think id have paid it already if I had 3x the due amount spare?

 

Should I tell them I'm moving, could it strengthen my defence?,

but at the same time I don't want my landlord having to deal with bailiffs.

 

Is it fair to say I've moved and I'm sleeping on a friends sofa then not giving the address?.

Obviously thats going to be registered with council in a few months.

 

should I pay anything or make any contact with them or just wait?

 

Can I still sell house contents presuming nobody has been in and listed them?(nobody will get in here, 4th floor up and 2 looked doors + intercom.

Tbh I don't answer the door unless expecting someone anyway.

 

I don't have a lot, tv and an old mac pro + a few bits of vintage music equipment and some records.

My cars sorn as it needs work for mot but they can have that. 

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so they already have a liability order

and you have already had the notice of enforcement from busted & stupid?

 

dx

 


..

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They've got the liability order but I think its still at the compliance stage.

 

I just don't think I can afford to prevent it going to the enforcement stage.

The only letter I've had so far is a Notice of Issue of Liability order which I've responded to and agreed and unsustainable repayment plan. I guess that was stupid but it was the 23rd of december and honestly I had things to do.

 

In fairness it was either accept her offer or it goes to the next stage.

I know from past experience if you miss a payment by 1 day you break the agreement and it goes to the enforcement stage.

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Hi,

 

Sorry you find yourself in this situation. I, unfortunately have had a long and rocky history with the Council Tax to the tune of many , many thousands of pounds.

 

I am now bang up to date, so it’s worth listening to me.

 

Your ability to pay it off in 5 months is eminently reasonable. B&S are not at all reasonable ( I’ve had a few experiences with them). In fact talking to them is like trying to teach my Jack Rusell Shakespeare.
 

However, your local elected councillor Is reasonable, and powerful enough to put a rapid end to this, setting you up with an affordable arrangement.

 

Google for their contact details .

 

 


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On 11/01/2020 at 19:29, JAYDOUBLEU said:

They've got the liability order but I think its still at the compliance stage.

 

I just don't think I can afford to prevent it going to the enforcement stage.

The only letter I've had so far is a Notice of Issue of Liability order which I've responded to and agreed and unsustainable repayment plan. I guess that was stupid but it was the 23rd of december and honestly I had things to do.

 

In fairness it was either accept her offer or it goes to the next stage.

I know from past experience if you miss a payment by 1 day you break the agreement and it goes to the enforcement stage.

 

In fact, the debt is NOT at Compliance Stage at all.  I will try to explain as simply as I can but please excuse the fairly long explanation!!

 

Prior to 2014 when the Taking Control of Goods Regulations was introduced, it had been a legal requirement for all local authorities to send a '14 day letter' to council tax payers once a Liability Order had been obtained. If payment had not been received after the 14 day period, the account could be passed to bailiffs to enforce.

 

In 2014, the requirement for councils to send the '14 day letter' was revoked.

 

Despite this, there are many councils that  continue to send this letter........... and there are other councils that request that such a letter is sent by their bailiff company. This is more common in the run up to Christmas. 

 

Most importantly, such a letter (commonly referred to as Notice of Issue of Liability Order) is NOT a statutory notice and cannot and must not be confused by the statutory Notice of Enforcement (NoE). At the NoE stage, a Compliance Fee of £75 may be charged.

 

Most importantly, the NoE must by law state the time AND date by when payment must be made in order to avoid a personal visit. At the NoE stage, you may also set up a payment arrangement. 

 

Secondly, you should contact the council asap to advise that you will be moving in February. The Liability Order will then be REDUCED by approx one month. 

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so if this is not at the NoE stage yet, how are busted and stupid even involved yet????

 

OP: you said in Post 1 

I spoke with them before Christmas

 

who did you speak too? this is unclear to me ….

 

 


..

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The liability order letter came from Bristow and Sutor before christmas.

It stated that if contact was not made within 14 days the debt would be referred to an enforcement agent and a further £235 added to the debt hence I contacted B&S before christmas to try and avoid the £235. 

 

There was a letter from the council a few months back with a court date which was the last from them.

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well if it says £235 it must have been the NoA and not a Notice of Issue of Liability order as you said earlier...?


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41 minutes ago, dx100uk said:

well if it says £235 it must have been the NoA and not a Notice of Issue of Liability order as you said earlier...

Its definitely headed as Notice of Issue. The £235 is just on the back of the letter, not actually in the main wording but it does say the debt will be "referred to an enforcement officer who will send a notice of enforcement". I presume at that point they add the £235?

Edited by JAYDOUBLEU

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No read what BA posted carefully.. 

 

you get a NoA at that point it adds £75

Not until the issuance of the NoA and the bailiff attends again after the required 7 days does the £235 get added


..

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On 12/01/2020 at 23:10, Bailiff Advice said:

 

In fact, the debt is NOT at Compliance Stage at all.  I will try to explain as simply as I can but please excuse the fairly long explanation!!

 

Prior to 2014 when the Taking Control of Goods Regulations was introduced, it had been a legal requirement for all local authorities to send a '14 day letter' to council tax payers once a Liability Order had been obtained. If payment had not been received after the 14 day period, the account could be passed to bailiffs to enforce.

 

In 2014, the requirement for councils to send the '14 day letter' was revoked.

 

Despite this, there are many councils that  continue to send this letter........... and there are other councils that request that such a letter is sent by their bailiff company. This is more common in the run up to Christmas. 

 

Most importantly, such a letter (commonly referred to as Notice of Issue of Liability Order) is NOT a statutory notice and cannot and must not be confused by the statutory Notice of Enforcement (NoE). At the NoE stage, a Compliance Fee of £75 may be charged.

 

Most importantly, the NoE must by law state the time AND date by when payment must be made in order to avoid a personal visit. At the NoE stage, you may also set up a payment arrangement. 

 

Secondly, you should contact the council asap to advise that you will be moving in February. The Liability Order will then be REDUCED by approx one month. 

Thanks for that.

Sorry I didn't spot your reply yesterday.

 

Amazing I've got somewhere, this morning I went to meet my brothers housing association contact who basically told me that I was effectively homeless and that my brothers house is overcrowded with 2 of us in as 1 room is classified as a study even though its big enough for a bedroom so I'm now high priority for them to get me my own place and this towns growing at a new estate a month right now so she thinks its well worth doing.

 

Back to the council, I rang them and basically said I'm making myself homeless and that there is no way I can pay £300 friday. After a few condescending questions a bit of a lecture she finally realised I was genuinely skint and they were not likely to find much here. She asked what I can pay, I said £150 friday and £150 in a month then the rest spread over 2 months at the end after its been recalculated. Amazingly it was accepted. Funny thing is she said and I quote "I need to have a word in the back office", is the back office Bristow and Sutor?, this is Stratford council and its very close to Redditch.

 

Then as if by coincidence my landlord rang me asking about the arrears, decided to mention I was going to put in my notice, at which he said I can leave this month if I want and we will square up after. This will mean I can knock two months off the due amount of council tax also.

 

 

Edited by JAYDOUBLEU

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no the back office won't be B&S but they'll deal with them.

 

well done!

 

 


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1 hour ago, dx100uk said:

no the back office won't be B&S but they'll deal with them.

 

well done!

 

 

That makes sense.

 

Totally off subject but this might be of interest to some others.

I called up EE to discuss moving or cancelling my home broadband as I have 9 months left where my brother has 2. Because my brothers house hasn't got the faster fibre set up by BT yet they will cancel the contract with no charge as they are unable to supply what i'll be paying for. I was expecting 9x£35. I don't know if thats a general thing or just a company policy but was a nice surprise.

Edited by JAYDOUBLEU

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Theres no contract law that states you must pay for 12 mts if you only use 9!!  


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5 minutes ago, dx100uk said:

Theres no contract law that states you must pay for 12 mts if you only use 9!!  

I guess theres no £700 phone involved like mobile phone contracts. She did say they'll need the router back though which is fine.

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