Council tax bill not passed on

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Reclaiming Mortgage Fees, Council Tax, etc
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theeasylifetheeasylife Forumite
20 Posts
Hello everybody,

Any similar experience or experts help would be really appreciated.

I own a house which I rent out and live at a separate address. For two weeks of me owning the property but before the tenant moved in a bill arose for council tax. We had paid all council tax prior to this date. Unfortunately the new bill was sent to the tenant address and she never passed it on. She was sent several more including a court summons and she didn't pass these on either. The result was that I got a call from her yesterday saying bailiffs were at the door threatening to take her car. I paid the bailiffs but now I want to clear my name and if possible recover the inflated fees of court and bailiffs.

When I phoned the council they told me my wife has said to use the rental house for correspondence but she says this did not happen and I have a letter from them to my primary address so they definitely have it on file.

three points,

Firstly admit that we owe the £65 council tax (not once did we see a bill)

Secondly the money paid in total yesterday (£450) is not a disaster for us I'm most concerned about the magistrates court liability order either affecting credit/criminal record etc, is this a reasonable concern?

Thirdly as I didnt received a single bill/reminder/summons, the council have used the wrong address (they say the right one but still have the other on file and a current mobile number that wasn't contacted) am I likely to be able to get this court ruling overturned/money reclaimed?

Many thanks in advance, sorry it's so complicated!

Replies

  • CISCIS Forumite
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    Secondly the money paid in total yesterday (£450) is not a disaster for us I'm most concerned about the magistrates court liability order either affecting credit/criminal record etc, is this a reasonable concern?
    It doesn't show on your records as a criminal offence nor will it show on a credit record.

    Providing the council issued everything to the last known address then the document have been served correctly, there is no requirement for them to try and contact you in any other way. If there's an argument over the address which was used, i.e. you supplied another address and specifically asked that be used for council tax notices, then you have a case for asking them to look again at what has happened but unless they were specifically given an alternative address then they are no obligation to issue anything other than to the last known address.

    To have a liability order quashed you would have to make a formal case to the magistrates to have it set aside but you would have to prove the court had granted it in error.
    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.
  • CIS

    Thanks for your reply. We had supplied the correct address, we even have a letter to the correct address from them but they are saying we called to change it back to the tenant address! Lies! Why would I do that!

    I think I will be getting proper legal advice, I feel i do have a case of mishandling by the council.
  • CISCIS Forumite
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    CIS

    Thanks for your reply. We had supplied the correct address, we even have a letter to the correct address from them but they are saying we called to change it back to the tenant address! Lies! Why would I do that!

    I think I will be getting proper legal advice, I feel i do have a case of mishandling by the council.

    You'd be surprised how many do though !.

    Was the letter in respect of the same property and council tax account ?. Did it per-date the action that has been taken ?
    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.
  • CISCIS Forumite
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    I think I will be getting proper legal advice, I feel i do have a case of mishandling by the council.
    I would also add that you may struggle with that as 99% of solicitors/legal advisers have no idea of council tax legislation and what to do regarding it (I've had plenty of experience dealing with them over the last decade).
    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.
  • magpiecottagemagpiecottage
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    I think there is a difficulty in that you knew the tax was due but did not check it.

    On the other hand, since you can prove that you told them the correct address, you may have an argument that the council breached the fourth Data Protection Principle (Personal data shall be accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date.)

    I would take that approach in the first instance but make it a formal complaint so that it is properly investigated.
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