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  • FIRST POST
    • r0wly86
    • By r0wly86 18th Apr 17, 2:36 PM
    • 16Posts
    • 5Thanks
    r0wly86
    Council Tax Liability Order - Wrong Address
    • #1
    • 18th Apr 17, 2:36 PM
    Council Tax Liability Order - Wrong Address 18th Apr 17 at 2:36 PM
    My wife's cousin has council tax debt, on which a Liability Order has been given. The cousin now lives in another EU country and has no residence left in the UK.


    Today an Enforcement Agent arrived at my mother-in-law's house (the cousin grew up in the house but hasn't lived there for around 20 years, has no interest in the property or any of his property is in the house).


    He gained access by asking my mother-in-law to get a utility bill to proove that she lived here and not the cousin. Whilst she went to get it he let himself in and obviously refused to leave. He wanted to start the process of seizing goods to pay for the debt, despite us telling him he owned nothing in the house.


    His "evidence" that the cousin stilled lived there was that the company ran an Experian Credit Check and it came up as a linked address. We produced the deeds to the house, multiple utility bills and the current Council Tax bill all in my mother-in-laws name. He refused to leave. I came from work to sort it out. He refused to show me the documentation that allowed him to be there, citing Data Protection Act until I called the police who made him show me.


    The documentation seemed to be a transcript of searches made for the cousin, nothing official that gave him any legal right to retrieve goods or enter this particular property. I asked him to leave as I didn't think he had the right to be there, he refused saying the only way he would leave is if I made him, whcih would be assault and I would touch him at my own risk (I had no intention to touch him or even inplied I would).


    Eventually he left after I emailed a copy of the Council Tax bill to his company who then told him to leave. Basically I am asking whether I have grounds for a complaint. I believe he used a dishonest method to gain access to the house which goes against the CIVEA Code of Practice,; "Deception must never be used to gain physical access"


    Also in the CIVEA CoP




    "Before seeking access to premises an enforcement agent should ensure, where


    possible, that the debtor is still resident at the property or carries on a business or trade from


    the premises."


    They obviously didn't do this as the cousin doesn't live at this address.


    No written proof of a legal right to enter was produced.


    Does anyone know or have experience with complaining about enforcement agents. Does the fact that he used deception to gain access to a property that the debtor does not live at, and then refusing to leave constitute tresspass?


    Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Page 1
  • National Debtline
    • #2
    • 18th Apr 17, 3:38 PM
    • #2
    • 18th Apr 17, 3:38 PM
    Hi r0wley86,


    I would certainly say you can complain in a situation like this, if you (or your mother-in-law) produced reasonable evidence to show that the liable person was no longer at that address and if the bailiff was intimidating, antagonistic or threatening as well you can complain under the National Standards.

    As far as the trespass issue is concerned, I think it will be more complicated. As long as they can gain entry through open or unlocked access, it is considered peaceful, so if the door was left open and unattended then the entry would fit the rules of peaceful entry. From your message he did not mislead your mother-in-law about who he was or why he was there, so that may make the argument of deception a grey area, but the national standards does also mention that the bailiffs should not use false representations such as "asking to use the toilet" in order to gain entry.

    The key thing would be to complain to the bailiff firm and raise all of your concerns. You need to highlight what you want them to do in order to resolve the issue for you and your mother-in-law, and if they don't then take the matter to CIVEA. Good luck,


    Laura
    @natdebtline
    We work as money advisers for National Debtline and have specific permission from MSE to post to try to help those in debt. Read more information on National Debtline in MSE's Debt Problems: What to do and where to get help guide. If you find you're struggling with debt and need further help try our online advice tool My Money Steps
    • r0wly86
    • By r0wly86 18th Apr 17, 3:42 PM
    • 16 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    r0wly86
    • #3
    • 18th Apr 17, 3:42 PM
    • #3
    • 18th Apr 17, 3:42 PM
    Many thanks for your reply.


    The only reason why I though it may be tresspass, is that the debtor hasn't lived there for 20+ years, they have no evidence that he lives there. We have repeatedly told the council that he doesn't live there. The enforcement agent couldn't provide anything that showed he could be there etc. not concrete I know but it did cause quite a bit of distress which really annoys me.


    His entry was "peaceful" but he knew what he was doing, he knew my mother-in-law would leave the door to retrieve the document he asked for. It may not be against the standards but definitely flirting with it.


    Thanks again for the reply. I'm waiting on confirmation that the property has been taken off this case as the address of my cousin before I complain
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