Old flatmate hasn't paid council tax - now baliffs are contacting me

Hello, 

I am a full time student, and I lived with a full time employed individual for around 18 months until May last year. As I am a student, I am exempt from paying CT, and I have given the relevant proof of this to the council.

About 9 months ago, I received a call from the council telling me that they had been unable to get hold of ex-flatmate who apparently did not pay CT whilst she was in the property. I gave them her phone number, and assumed that was the end of it. 

Today I received a call from a company called Jacobs, who I understand are a debt collection company. Turns out that the 'debt' has been passed to them, and it is around £1,000. I once again gave them her phone number (I do not know her new address), told them I was a FT student, and they said they'd take my number off their system. It was surprisingly easy to do this, and I am not convinced they actually did so. 

I have also contacted ex-flatmate, who says she will 'sort it'. She's quite an unreliable individual and I do not believe she will pay them what she owes. 

In the meantime, where do I stand with this? Should I be worried? I thought I did everything I needed to do by informing the council I was a student. I'm concerned about being lumbered with a debt that isn't mine. 
«1

Comments

  • RAS
    RAS Posts: 32,655 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post
    Jacob's are debt collectors and bailiffs, specialising in council tax, court fines and warrants. Your ex-flat sharer needs to be careful how she engages, as if she doesn't play ball, they will add more fees. She might want to take advice from stepchange or national debtline, and if she has a car, park it somewhere it cannot be seen.

    Mean-time you need to hunt out anything you have that covers the your exemption including your exemption letter from the Council and your university or student finance documentation. I'd go back to the Council and remind them to call off Jacobs. And send them photocopies/scans of all the documents covering that period. If Jacobs get in touch after that make a formal complaint to the Council and Jacobs.


    The person who has not made a mistake, has made nothing
  • DCFC79
    DCFC79 Posts: 40,598 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post
    edited 31 May 2022 at 7:55PM
    katepower said:
    Hello, 

    I am a full time student, and I lived with a full time employed individual for around 18 months until May last year. As I am a student, I am exempt from paying CT, and I have given the relevant proof of this to the council.

    About 9 months ago, I received a call from the council telling me that they had been unable to get hold of ex-flatmate who apparently did not pay CT whilst she was in the property. I gave them her phone number, and assumed that was the end of it. 

    Today I received a call from a company called Jacobs, who I understand are a debt collection company. Turns out that the 'debt' has been passed to them, and it is around £1,000. I once again gave them her phone number (I do not know her new address), told them I was a FT student, and they said they'd take my number off their system. It was surprisingly easy to do this, and I am not convinced they actually did so. 

    I have also contacted ex-flatmate, who says she will 'sort it'. She's quite an unreliable individual and I do not believe she will pay them what she owes. 

    In the meantime, where do I stand with this? Should I be worried? I thought I did everything I needed to do by informing the council I was a student. I'm concerned about being lumbered with a debt that isn't mine. 
    Is the debt in your name, if not then I dont believe you can be lumbered with it.

  • katepower
    katepower Posts: 92 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    DCFC79 said:
    katepower said:
    Hello, 

    I am a full time student, and I lived with a full time employed individual for around 18 months until May last year. As I am a student, I am exempt from paying CT, and I have given the relevant proof of this to the council.

    About 9 months ago, I received a call from the council telling me that they had been unable to get hold of ex-flatmate who apparently did not pay CT whilst she was in the property. I gave them her phone number, and assumed that was the end of it. 

    Today I received a call from a company called Jacobs, who I understand are a debt collection company. Turns out that the 'debt' has been passed to them, and it is around £1,000. I once again gave them her phone number (I do not know her new address), told them I was a FT student, and they said they'd take my number off their system. It was surprisingly easy to do this, and I am not convinced they actually did so. 

    I have also contacted ex-flatmate, who says she will 'sort it'. She's quite an unreliable individual and I do not believe she will pay them what she owes. 

    In the meantime, where do I stand with this? Should I be worried? I thought I did everything I needed to do by informing the council I was a student. I'm concerned about being lumbered with a debt that isn't mine. 
    Is the debt in your name, if not then I dont believe you can be lumbered with it.

    DCFC79 said:
    katepower said:
    Hello, 

    I am a full time student, and I lived with a full time employed individual for around 18 months until May last year. As I am a student, I am exempt from paying CT, and I have given the relevant proof of this to the council.

    About 9 months ago, I received a call from the council telling me that they had been unable to get hold of ex-flatmate who apparently did not pay CT whilst she was in the property. I gave them her phone number, and assumed that was the end of it. 

    Today I received a call from a company called Jacobs, who I understand are a debt collection company. Turns out that the 'debt' has been passed to them, and it is around £1,000. I once again gave them her phone number (I do not know her new address), told them I was a FT student, and they said they'd take my number off their system. It was surprisingly easy to do this, and I am not convinced they actually did so. 

    I have also contacted ex-flatmate, who says she will 'sort it'. She's quite an unreliable individual and I do not believe she will pay them what she owes. 

    In the meantime, where do I stand with this? Should I be worried? I thought I did everything I needed to do by informing the council I was a student. I'm concerned about being lumbered with a debt that isn't mine. 
    Is the debt in your name, if not then I dont believe you can be lumbered with it.

    I’m not sure - the text I got didn’t have a name on it. The council have my name but they should also have my exemption. 
  • RAS
    RAS Posts: 32,655 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post
    edited 31 May 2022 at 10:40PM
    Council Tax is a joint and several liability as a rule; but students are exempt. So you cannot be made responsible for this debt even though you lived there.

    We have to assume that your flatmate had the sense to apply for the single person's rebate? She'd have got that whether you lived there or not, so sharing with you didn't cost her more.  

    Go back to the Council and get them to pull Jacobs.
    The person who has not made a mistake, has made nothing
  • MalMonroe
    MalMonroe Posts: 5,783 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper Photogenic
    "I’m not sure - the text I got didn’t have a name on it. The council have my name but they should also have my exemption."

    What you say above is a bit of a worry. That's how scammers try to get money out of people.

    But that debt is not yours and has nothing whatsoever to do with you. I agree with RAS, above, you should keep on at the council until they take action. You could also tell them that you are seriously considering suing them for harassment. 

    It's obvious that your ex-flatmate has never had any intention of paying CT but that's not your problem. You are not liable.
    Please note - taken from the Forum Rules and amended for my own personal use (with thanks) : It is up to you to investigate, check, double-check and check yet again before you make any decisions or take any action based on any information you glean from any of my posts. Although I do carry out careful research before posting and never intend to mislead or supply out-of-date or incorrect information, please do not rely 100% on what you are reading. Verify everything in order to protect yourself as you are responsible for any action you consequently take.
  • katepower
    katepower Posts: 92 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    MalMonroe said:
    "I’m not sure - the text I got didn’t have a name on it. The council have my name but they should also have my exemption."

    What you say above is a bit of a worry. That's how scammers try to get money out of people.

    But that debt is not yours and has nothing whatsoever to do with you. I agree with RAS, above, you should keep on at the council until they take action. You could also tell them that you are seriously considering suing them for harassment. 

    It's obvious that your ex-flatmate has never had any intention of paying CT but that's not your problem. You are not liable.
    My initial thought was to ignore the message as I assumed it was a scam text - but the fact that it was from the council and was related to council tax rang alarm bells because I knew she'd been trying to avoid paying whilst we lived together. I googled the number and it came up as a legitimate company, which is why I contacted them. If it hadn't, I would have ignored it.
  • katepower
    katepower Posts: 92 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    RAS said:
    Jacob's are debt collectors and bailiffs, specialising in council tax, court fines and warrants. Your ex-flat sharer needs to be careful how she engages, as if she doesn't play ball, they will add more fees. She might want to take advice from stepchange or national debtline, and if she has a car, park it somewhere it cannot be seen.

    Mean-time you need to hunt out anything you have that covers the your exemption including your exemption letter from the Council and your university or student finance documentation. I'd go back to the Council and remind them to call off Jacobs. And send them photocopies/scans of all the documents covering that period. If Jacobs get in touch after that make a formal complaint to the Council and Jacobs.


    Thanks very much for your advice - I called the council and they advised me that my number must have been copied across in error and they have now informed Jacobs. 

    Out of interest - will she end up having to pay the CT? She's a bit of a slippery character and always seems to escape the consequences of her decisions. 
  • lincroft1710
    lincroft1710 Posts: 17,641 Forumite
    Photogenic Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post
    katepower said:
    RAS said:
    Jacob's are debt collectors and bailiffs, specialising in council tax, court fines and warrants. Your ex-flat sharer needs to be careful how she engages, as if she doesn't play ball, they will add more fees. She might want to take advice from stepchange or national debtline, and if she has a car, park it somewhere it cannot be seen.

    Mean-time you need to hunt out anything you have that covers the your exemption including your exemption letter from the Council and your university or student finance documentation. I'd go back to the Council and remind them to call off Jacobs. And send them photocopies/scans of all the documents covering that period. If Jacobs get in touch after that make a formal complaint to the Council and Jacobs.



    Out of interest - will she end up having to pay the CT? She's a bit of a slippery character and always seems to escape the consequences of her decisions. 
    If she was the liable occupier at the time then she has to pay. Councils and bailiffs are well used to "slippery characters" and tend to see through lies and deceitfulness. 
    If you are querying your Council Tax band would you please state whether you are in England, Scotland or Wales
  • lincroft1710
    lincroft1710 Posts: 17,641 Forumite
    Photogenic Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post
    MalMonroe said:

     You could also tell them that you are seriously considering suing them for harassment. 

    .

    Good luck with that one!
    If you are querying your Council Tax band would you please state whether you are in England, Scotland or Wales
  • katepower
    katepower Posts: 92 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    katepower said:

    Out of interest - will she end up having to pay the CT? She's a bit of a slippery character and always seems to escape the consequences of her decisions. 
    If she was the liable occupier at the time then she has to pay. Councils and bailiffs are well used to "slippery characters" and tend to see through lies and deceitfulness. 
    Just had a brief chat with her about it. She's adamant that because she had suspended her student status for a year, she shouldnt have to pay council tax because she was still technically a student. I've tried explaining it to her but no joy. Not my problem anymore!
Meet your Ambassadors

Categories

  • All Categories
  • 343.2K Banking & Borrowing
  • 250.1K Reduce Debt & Boost Income
  • 449.7K Spending & Discounts
  • 235.3K Work, Benefits & Business
  • 608K Mortgages, Homes & Bills
  • 173.1K Life & Family
  • 247.9K Travel & Transport
  • 1.5M Hobbies & Leisure
  • 15.9K Discuss & Feedback
  • 15.1K Coronavirus Support Boards