Council tax Bailiff

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Reclaiming Mortgage Fees, Council Tax, etc
4 replies 954 views
milletmemilletme Forumite
5 Posts
I wonder if anybody can give me some advice on what to do?
I returned home yesterday to find a bailiff had called re council tax on a BTL flat I own some miles away.
Bought flat which was in a terrible state at the end of last year and was absolutely positive I called water, council and tv licence to let them know that no one would be living in the flat for the foreseeable future. Council deny ever getting this call. Work commenced on the flat in the new year and we completed the works and found a tenant who moved in. It was whilst I was doing my final checks on the property the day before the tenant moved in I came across a council tax demand for over £2000 being the whole years council tax. I should say at this stage the post was put in a communal hallway and I was surprised that the flat did not seem to attract any letters. The only reason I received this letter was because I met the postman leaving it on entering the property.
Rang the council immediately who reduced the bill to £859 because of the dates of ownership of the property. They then said to email in evidence of emptiness of the property so they could pass it all on to arrears department who I was not allowed to talk to.

I sent emails showing when tenant took lease on, and presumably tenant would have been paying council tax to them, pictures I had taken before work commenced and after shots, and generally a timeline on what had happened to the property over the 6 months we had owned it before tenant moved in.

I rang several times for an update but was told they were so far behind that it would be quite some time before any response would be given.

Got a response 4 weeks later from the arrears dept which said they had read emails and could maybe right off the debt if I showed them evidence that the flat was unfurnished when I bought it and when I moved furniture into the flat.
I thought not only had I told them it was empty when i bought it but the pictures I took showed it was empty and I never moved furniture in as the after shots confirm and I really do not know when tenant moved furniture in.

Yesterday I came home to find a bailiff had called. A note shoved into my letter box stating that a Magistrates order had been granted on ...... 2 weeks before I had made my telephone call to the council re the £2000 bill. The letter said I owed £900.

What position am I in. I know I do not owe this money. My main concern this morning is the bailiffs returning before I have had a chance to talk to the council and them seizing my car. I live down a rural unlit unpavemented lane with no public transport around and need my car for everything. I know not to let them in.

I feel I have set out everything I could. The council say they have read everything. Then they ask questions which I feel the answers were in my emails anyway. Eg "the flat remained empty and is now let to ....."
Councils reply "when did furniture go into the property"


  • Voyager2002Voyager2002 Forumite
    14.5K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Get in touch with an elected councillor... they can generally resolve this kind of issue.

    You could also contact the clerk to the court that issued the Order; explain that you had not received the original summons and so did not know about the hearing; ask about processes to set aside the Order. However, finding a solution with the council would be quicker and cheaper, so long as you can find someone with a brain!
  • It doesn't look like any court document I have ever seen. I.e. It does not say which court just the magistrate and there is no breakdown of fees. Going to start ringing in a few minutes. When I say start ringing the last time I spoke to them it took me 4 hours of constant ringing and getting cut off before I spoke to anyone and then i was told to put everything in email which would be looked at within 26 weeks!! I am not joking. They said they were so far behind. This is partly why I have not been back to make sure it was all sorted and given the question that was asked I was told would be dealt with when my tenant started to pay Council tax. He informed them apparently straight away and they have been billing him.
  • You can apply for a Statutory Declaration from your local court stating that you did not know about the original court date and hearing.

    If you genuinely had no knowledge of the court case I would do this as a priority. Go to your local courts and ask to make one - they usually hold these before sessions. They will also advise you that if you make, or knowingly make false representations then it is an offense under the perjury act.

    Secondly and most importantly write a recorded and signed for letter to the council stating everything and including copies of all information. Next go into the Council and ask to speak to an Arrears Manager. You should be able to sort this amicably and quickly
  • dancingfairydancingfairy Forumite
    9.1K Posts
    You can write to the bailiff at their office and state that you are in communication with the council regarding this debt as you are disputing it and that all recovery proceedings should be put on hold until such time as you and the council have resolved matters.
    Making my money go further with MSE :j
    How much can I save in 2012 challenge
    75/1200 :eek:
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