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    • Irish_lad80
    • By Irish_lad80 12th Sep 17, 4:00 PM
    • 27Posts
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    Irish_lad80
    Historic Council Tax Issue
    • #1
    • 12th Sep 17, 4:00 PM
    Historic Council Tax Issue 12th Sep 17 at 4:00 PM
    Hi, friend has just got back from holidays and received some letters in the post in relation to non payment of council tax in the years 2006/7. The first set of letters were addressed to the 4 tenants in the house (but sent to my friends new address) and stated that there was nearly £1,000 of tax owed from the two periods (2006/2007). My friend hasn't been in contact with the 3 other tenants since she moved out in 2007 but has been living and been paying council tax in SE London since that time. Another set of letters were sent 10 days later stating that she had 14 days to pay up the full amount or provide her work details so it could be taken from her salary or else she would be charged more money and bailiffs would be called . This time the letters were only addressed to her. My friend is adamant that she paid her share in full at the time and to be fair she is a stickler for these things so I believe her but being 10/11 years ago she has no evidence of the payments (who keeps receipts that long). Given she no longer has contact details for those in the house, (lost the phone with their numbers) can she still be held liable for their share? Will the council still look for the other people or now they have one person will they just say tough luck and squeeze her for the total amount?
    Thanks in advance and any advice much appreciated.
    This is my first post so hope I haven't made any errors.
Page 5
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 14th Sep 17, 4:08 PM
    • 6,091 Posts
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    davidmcn
    I don't think I would rush to get everything off the one person, but that's just me.
    Originally posted by Irish_lad80
    Yes, it is just you. And the debt we're talking about isn't even yours! What's your friend's opinion about it?
    • Irish_lad80
    • By Irish_lad80 14th Sep 17, 4:27 PM
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    Irish_lad80
    Yes, it is just you. And the debt we're talking about isn't even yours! What's your friend's opinion about it?
    Originally posted by davidmcn

    No the debt is not but I was asked the question what would I do, hence my response.


    Friend is still a bit shocked tbh. She is trying to find the others involved at the moment (but with little success) and to contact the council. Was on hold for over 20 min yesterday and didn't get through. She will give it her whole lunch break today to see if 45 min is enough time to get through and discuss. She, at this stage is willing to pay some of the balance outstanding, maybe even a third but does want to see all the records the council have first to make sure there have been no errors on the councils side.
    Last edited by Irish_lad80; 14-09-2017 at 4:35 PM.
    • Irish_lad80
    • By Irish_lad80 14th Sep 17, 4:48 PM
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    Irish_lad80
    But they owe you the full amount...
    Originally posted by AdrianC

    But again common sense and payment history shows that it was being paid by a number of people not just one, while I now know legally they are deemed as one for the liability and I am within my right to only chase one and take the money from them. After this length of time I would look at the circumstances and payment history since, then try to negotiate a fair outcome from each of the people registered.
    Think we can agree to disagree on this one as neither of us will change our opinion.
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 14th Sep 17, 4:51 PM
    • 15,459 Posts
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    AdrianC
    But again common sense and payment history shows that it was being paid by a number of people not just one
    Originally posted by Irish_lad80
    No, it shows it was being paid. Full stop.

    Think we can agree to disagree on this one as neither of us will change our opinion.
    The difference is that I'm telling you the actual reality, you're telling me what you want it to be.

    You call it agreeing to disagree, I call it burying your head in the sand...
    • Irish_lad80
    • By Irish_lad80 14th Sep 17, 5:36 PM
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    Irish_lad80
    No, it shows it was being paid. Full stop.


    The difference is that I'm telling you the actual reality, you're telling me what you want it to be.

    You call it agreeing to disagree, I call it burying your head in the sand...
    Originally posted by AdrianC

    Neither of us know exactly what the payment history/statement will show, but my friend has a recollection of it being paid on a card in the local newsagent and each person in the house doing it, not sure if that makes sense to anyone or not.


    You gave me a hypothetical situation and asked for my opinion, therefore I can't be burying my head in the sand.
    As for telling me how it is, the 4 people being counted as one and it's not the councils problem I can see and agree with. I thought/hoped as you did there maybe some statute of Limitation but clearly there is not. Without seeing any of the councils documentation so far yes the council is entitled to reclaim from the first person they find and the others get away free.
    I was merely looking for advice for my friend, of which sadly there doesn't seem to be much available apart from get used to beans.
    I also know across all walks of life negotiation can happen and rules not rigorously enforced if there are mitigating circumstances. I was hoping that councils would look at the overall situation, they may, or may not. Time will tell.
    • sheramber
    • By sheramber 14th Sep 17, 7:40 PM
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    sheramber
    [QUOTE=Irish_lad80;73125774]Neither of us know exactly what the payment history/statement will show, but my friend has a recollection of it being paid on a card in the local newsagent and each person in the house doing it, not sure if that makes sense to anyone or not.

    A council tax swipe card which could be used where Pay Point was available.

    Was the full payment due paid or did she only pay what sh considered her share?


    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 14th Sep 17, 8:29 PM
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    lincroft1710
    Give this one up!

    Your friend has been legally pursued for the debt, there are no "mitigating circumstances", no "negotiation" (except possibly on payment, but not amount). It is highly unlikely the council will have got the sums wrong.
    Last edited by lincroft1710; 14-09-2017 at 8:34 PM.
    • Rich2808
    • By Rich2808 14th Sep 17, 8:37 PM
    • 511 Posts
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    Rich2808
    Am curious as to how the OP's friend was tracked down after 10 years.

    Were they the named person on the bill at the time - hence they accepted liability back then?

    Normally when you move out you should notify the council you are moving - and your new council - and settle up whats owed. Not easy when you are sharing a place - but its a lesson learned.

    I would check with the council - the burden of proof is on them. But you don't want your credit rating messed up - it could affect your ability to get mortgages and credit cards.
    • CIS
    • By CIS 14th Sep 17, 9:25 PM
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    CIS
    Council Tax does not affect credit rating.

    The court have agreed the amount is outstanding and the council have determined liability. There is no further proof required by the council - if a debtor disputes liability the onus is on them to prove it by way of a valuation tribunal appeal.
    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery as I'm now a self employed Council Tax advisor and consultant with my own Council Tax consultancy business. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
    • 00ec25
    • By 00ec25 15th Sep 17, 8:22 AM
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    00ec25
    Am curious as to how the OP's friend was tracked down after 10 years.

    Were they the named person on the bill at the time - hence they accepted liability back then?
    Originally posted by Rich2808
    granted the thread is now rather long but OP posted: a) all 4 are named on the bill and b) Op's friend lives and pays CT in "SE London". Anyhow, more importantly they do not have to "accept liability" by being named on a bill, statute law clearly defines who is liable for CT and it is not necessary to be named to be liable. read up on "hierarchy of liability", it will be listed on every council website across the Uk as it is the basis of everything.

    Councils are allowed to share data between themselves and there is a whole industry within town halls devoted to "data matching" which will identify people moving around. There is of course also the whole suite of basic checks that any "tracing agent" (private detective!) can use such as phone books, NI numbers etc

    as to why they have waited 10 years who knows, lets just assume that it is now a financial necessity that they collect old debts and maybe they have now got as far back as 10 years ago
    Last edited by 00ec25; 15-09-2017 at 8:24 AM.
    • phillw
    • By phillw 15th Sep 17, 9:52 AM
    • 937 Posts
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    phillw
    as to why they have waited 10 years who knows, lets just assume that it is now a financial necessity that they collect old debts and maybe they have now got as far back as 10 years ago
    Originally posted by 00ec25
    A friend of mine had collectors for a 2 year old council tax bill that she was somehow unaware of sent to her estranged half sister. We have no idea how they linked my friend to that address, it created fireworks.

    By the time she found out about it they had passed the debt back to the council. I suspect they would have tried again eventually if she hadn't paid it.

    I certainly wouldn't agree to a debt from 10 years ago. I'd start with I'm sure I paid it, but I no longer have details going that far back. Ask for evidence of the period that the council tax was due. Exhaust every avenue of getting the figure down, then appeal to their fairness and their desire to write the debt off and pay what share I owed. If all else fails then tell them you can't afford it and offer to pay £1 a week.
    Last edited by phillw; 15-09-2017 at 9:54 AM.
    • Guest101
    • By Guest101 15th Sep 17, 10:33 AM
    • 15,128 Posts
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    Guest101
    A friend of mine had collectors for a 2 year old council tax bill that she was somehow unaware of sent to her estranged half sister. We have no idea how they linked my friend to that address, it created fireworks.

    By the time she found out about it they had passed the debt back to the council. I suspect they would have tried again eventually if she hadn't paid it.

    I certainly wouldn't agree to a debt from 10 years ago. I'd start with I'm sure I paid it, but I no longer have details going that far back. Ask for evidence of the period that the council tax was due. Exhaust every avenue of getting the figure down, then appeal to their fairness and their desire to write the debt off and pay what share I owed. If all else fails then tell them you can't afford it and offer to pay £1 a week.
    Originally posted by phillw
    It's already been to court, so it doesn't matter.


    It went to court 10 years ago, so the reality is that for TEN YEARS the ops friend had avoided the debt, intentionally or not, the council will rightly think that they did it on purpose.


    'Tell them you cant afford it', they will want proof!
    • CIS
    • By CIS 15th Sep 17, 10:55 AM
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    CIS
    If the council have not written off after 10 years it is clear that they don't wish to do so - they are under no requirement to do so.

    The chance of accepting £1 is almost nil, there's no requirement for the council to accept any payment arrangement in any case. With the determination from the council to continue collection I'd be pretty certain they will not hold off from using an enforcement agent.
    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery as I'm now a self employed Council Tax advisor and consultant with my own Council Tax consultancy business. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
    • decbel
    • By decbel 15th Sep 17, 7:58 PM
    • 1,494 Posts
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    decbel
    It's already been to court, so it doesn't matter.


    It went to court 10 years ago, so the reality is that for TEN YEARS the ops friend had avoided the debt, intentionally or not, the council will rightly think that they did it on purpose.


    'Tell them you cant afford it', they will want proof!
    Originally posted by Guest101
    Where was that said.

    I missed it.
    • decbel
    • By decbel 15th Sep 17, 8:06 PM
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    decbel
    I would say this about it.

    If the OP'S friend has to fork out this £1000+ rip off she might get a little satisfaction in that they will find new ways to squander it.

    £1000-lots to many of us but to councils into the black hole.


    Debt recovery-because of the financial state we are in. Pull the other one.

    Mrs May just wasted £200 million on an election she didn't need to call.
    • BorisThomson
    • By BorisThomson 15th Sep 17, 8:06 PM
    • 538 Posts
    • 882 Thanks
    BorisThomson
    Where was that said.

    I missed it.
    Originally posted by decbel
    Post #6, 9, 15 for a start ...
    • 00ec25
    • By 00ec25 15th Sep 17, 8:21 PM
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    00ec25
    Mrs May just wasted £200 million on an election she didn't need to call.
    Originally posted by decbel
    agreed, however, that does not negate the FACT that the law says the OP's friend MUST pay what is owed

    you can spout as much communist/ psycho babble nonsense as you wish, but it will not alter the facts of the case, OP's friend singularly failed to establish a "house protocol" whereby 4 apparently unconnected people failed to make arrangements to ensure that (legally enforceable) bills were paid IN FULL.

    OP's friend has now been "caught" and must pay.............. end of.
    Last edited by 00ec25; 15-09-2017 at 8:23 PM.
    • decbel
    • By decbel 15th Sep 17, 8:46 PM
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    decbel
    agreed, however, that does not negate the FACT that the law says the OP's friend MUST pay what is owed

    you can spout as much communist/ psycho babble nonsense as you wish, but it will not alter the facts of the case, OP's friend singularly failed to establish a "house protocol" whereby 4 apparently unconnected people failed to make arrangements to ensure that (legally enforceable) bills were paid IN FULL.

    OP's friend has now been "caught" and must pay.............. end of.
    Originally posted by 00ec25
    The law does not state that at all. There is discretion.

    The law says that as has been stated the council has no responsibility to chase the others.

    But it can choose to do so.

    I'd be asking why aren't they.

    Surely that's a fair ask.
    Last edited by decbel; 15-09-2017 at 8:49 PM.
    • decbel
    • By decbel 15th Sep 17, 8:56 PM
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    decbel
    To be called a communist I'm very proud of that.
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 16th Sep 17, 2:44 PM
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    lincroft1710
    The law does not state that at all. There is discretion.

    The law says that as has been stated the council has no responsibility to chase the others.

    But it can choose to do so.

    I'd be asking why aren't they.

    Surely that's a fair ask.
    Originally posted by decbel
    Why should a council choose to do something it doesn't have to and something that will cost more money? As has also been stated on this board before, however unfair it may appear, the council have done nothing wrong, CT legislation supports their actions.
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