Council Tax, Gone to Court, now what?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Cutting Tax
6 replies 804 views
robgazirobgazi Forumite
13 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Cutting Tax
Hi people,

I've got a problem with the local authorities over a council tax billing and I hopeful I can get some ideas or advice from you.

I had been sharing a house with my brother from March 2007 until March 2008, where by he decided to move to NI but then decided to do a runner on the council tax bill.

Now apparently the council tax was a joint billing account, and his action to do a runner has lumbered me paying my half of that bill as well as his. A total of £326.14.

The local authority has notified me that I am liable to pay both portions of the bill.

So naturally I have complained about this...but the law being what it is (an !!!) is quite clear: that I am the payee, dispite my brother doing something unlawful, and that I have to pay for this ... doesn't seem quite fair to me, how about to you?

I've told you some back ground information, so here is the problem.

My net pay per week is about £208.00, I am currently paying for a new council tax billing of around £97 per month (for a single person), then there is the usual overheads of utility bills and rent, food etc., You all know the score.

After submitting a financial expenditure form, I made an offer to the council of paying £10 every fortnight, which was subsequently rejected!

They want £17 per week!

I have complained that I cannot afford this.

Upon further negotiations today (if you can call it that), I've managed to get the bill down to £14 per week.

Which is still an expense I cannot make.

Reluctantly, I have had to agree...but on further inspection, I have had a change of heart.

The authority in this case at least, do not want to help or care about the welfare of the people they are supposedly to serve. (So much for democracy.)

What I should mention, this has gone to court on the 21 of August, but curiously I have heard nothing, no paper work nothing.

Just the letter from the council demanding £17 per week affect on the 29 August 2008 - today.

Can I appeal? Can I go to the court?
What can I do about this sorry affair.

Sincerely,

Robert - very confused by the whole affair.

Replies

  • CISCIS Forumite
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    Regardless of whether your brother stayed or went, you are legally liable for 100% of the debt as is he.

    You have no option now to go to court, the only option you had to attend court was on the date of the court hearing. Even on the date of the court hearing the magistrate could not rule against the council's summons application as you do not have a valid defence - there are only a few valid defences under which the magistrate is allowed to cancel or adjourn the issuing of a Liability Order.

    The two main options the council can now take , other than a re-payment arrangement, are an attachment of earnings (they'd get approx £60 p/m) or bailiff.
    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery but instead work as a specialist Council Tax paralegal assisting landlords and Council Tax payers with council tax disputes and valuation tribunals. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
  • robgazirobgazi Forumite
    13 Posts
    CIS wrote: »
    Regardless of whether your brother stayed or went, you are legally liable for 100% of the debt as is he.

    You have no option now to go to court, the only option you had to attend court was on the date of the court hearing. Even on the date of the court hearing the magistrate could not rule against the council's summons application as you do not have a valid defence - there are only a few valid defences under which the magistrate is allowed to cancel or adjourn the issuing of a Liability Order.

    The two main options the council can now take , other than a re-payment arrangement, are an attachment of earnings (they'd get approx £60 p/m) or bailiff.


    ================
    A re-payment has been arranged for £14 per month, and this just isn't affordable.

    So what you are saying is there is nothing I can do about it. I cannot even appeal to this - even though I am in fianancial dire straits?

    - If that is the case then it just goes to the show then that these people in positions of serving the public are not serving me whatsoever.

    Its about time people in this country wake up and reclaim what is rightfully theirs.
  • CISCIS Forumite
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    There is no further right of appeal - you can negotiate with the council though, via a councilor if needed.
    - If that is the case then it just goes to the show then that these people in positions of serving the public are not serving me whatsoever.

    The council are serving the public in general by following their statutory duty to recover the arrears owed. The problem comes that by not collecting debt as soon as possible the council incur extra costs which has to be passed on by way of higher council rates the next year for the tax payer in general.
    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery but instead work as a specialist Council Tax paralegal assisting landlords and Council Tax payers with council tax disputes and valuation tribunals. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
  • hodgesterhodgester Forumite
    174 Posts
    "The authority in this case at least, do not want to help or care about the welfare of the people they are supposedly to serve. (So much for democracy.)"

    They are serving their public by chasing you to get their money. You've changed your mind I see, as to how much they are asking from you. In post 1 it was £14 per week, in your second post it is £14 per month.

    If it is 14 pcm then you're a lucky bunny. If it's £14 per week then I assume they have used the attachment figures based on your income.

    It seems perfectly equitable to me that if both you and your brother opted not to pay a bill and one of you scarpered that the council has the right to collect the balance from whoever they can find. If the rent wasn't being paid would your landlord accept 50% and turn a blind eye to the rest?

    I think maybe you should save your energy and anger for your brother who seems to be more deserving of your ire.
    it's not the council's fault your band is wrong, blame the Valuation Office !!!!! :rolleyes:
  • McKneffMcKneff Forumite
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    dont mean to be mean robgazi but the rest of us have to pay our council tax.
    what makes you think that you shouldnt have to pay all of it and that other council tax payers should pay half of yours for you. so your bill goes down and ours goes up.!!!!

    like hodgester says, save your anger for your brother who has treated you with utter contempt. Cant you get in touch with him and ask him to pay up.
    make the most of it, we are only here for the weekend.
    and we will never, ever return.
  • I'm with you on this robgazi, fair enough everyone has to pay council tax,
    but it is the amount of council tax some people have to pay, dependant on where they live, the size of their house etc. I once had a similar problem to yours with your brother. Up and down the country, councils are charging different amounts, and the taxpayer can do little to control the excesses of councils, which rack up the council tax bills each year. As you say, something must be done.
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