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Local councils - incompetent

richs2891 Jun 20, 2008

  1. richs2891

    richs2891 I cant spell !

    At the end of April 06 I moved house to my current one (part exed it against a new one). I rang the local council to tell them I have moved, but it seems that they have not properly recorded the information. The new owners moved in and told the local council that they moved in end June 06. Council took this as gospel and for two years have apparently tried chasing me for the unpaid council tax.
    This all became apparent when a letter was sent to my new house yesterday with a demand for money(which ironically took 7 days to arrive so no chance of ringing up within 7 days to help resolve the matter) .
    A letter which did not had any information on so after ringing the helpline, and having the phone put down on me by one operator who claimed I was not who I said I was and another one who claimed it was not his problem.
    After ringing back and asking to speak to a manager got put through to a girl who sounded no older than 13 and could not string a sentence together managed to find out that the dates it related to where after I moved. I asked for proof and expected it to be put on hold until the "proof" arrives.
    Oh no a bailiff is knocking on my door demanding payment this morning.
    He was very professional and read my letter and actually gave me the phones nos and name of the best person to call ! He suggested that the best thing to do was to pay and keep a receipt of all time and any expenses that occurred proving I'm right and then bill them for the time etc.
    Phoned the no I was given, and talked to someone that was actually human and understood the situation. She actually admitted that the proper checks had not been done - ie a simple land registry check would have resolved it straight away.
    While waiting for her to call back a quick call to the builders who I bought my new house off and sold my old one has proved I'm 100 % correct and they will happily send details if needed, as will the solicitor who ironically did the sale for both houses !
    Got a call back from the no I was given and its proved so far that I'm right, I've passed her the details of the builder and the solicitor, she will now go away and check everything but she has admitted that they where in the wrong and that it should have not gone this far and they should have checked better.
    Does any one know if I can bill them for my time resolving this or indeed the purchaser of my old house who has basically lied to save himself some money and if the libality order that has been (wrongly) issued against me is anything to worry about ?

  2. J45SON

    J45SON Member

    what a hassle you have had. i would imagine that someone is neglegent so it may be worthwhile seeking advice from the CAB??
  3. chill14

    chill14 Newbie

    I don't think you will get anywhere trying to bill your local council although it appears they have seriously ballsed up.

    If I understood this right then you moved out in April 06 and the new owner moved in at the same time. They then failed to tell the council they moved in, and when they did, they then said they moved in, in June 06. You have evidence otherwise and can prove the sale etc.

    If this is the case then you have nothing to worry about and in my opinion you should get all your money back, including any costs that you have incurred for summons/Bailiffs etc. You are not liable for the cost between the date you left and the date the new party claim they moved in. The council will have to bill the new party.

    The only thing I am concerned about, is why has it taken the local council two years to send the paperwork to your new address.

    You should have recieved a Council Tax Bill when you left, for closing liabilty. Basically to close the account and clear anything you may have owed upto the day you moved. This should have been sent to your new address. This bill would have had an instalment date, usually 1st of month so this would have been due either 1st May 06 or 1st June 06 depending when you left in the April. (council has to legally give you 14 days notice before payment due.)

    If you owed anything which based on what has happened, there would be. After the payment was not recieved, you should have received a Reminder notice after 14 days. The two councils I worked for this was closer to 21 days.

    If no payment was then received, you would have recieved a Final Notice giving you 7 days to pay. After this it goes to Magistrates Court to issue a summons for non-payment. Once this is applied for, costs are added to bill. This amount is dependant on court and local council as to their agreed amount.

    Only after this point would the Bailiffs then receive your details to collect payment. Again a letter would be issued to you before they come door knocking. (This is probably the one you actually got.)

    So what on earth were the council doing, or where were they sending the letters?

    Having previously worked in Council Tax and getting a qualification in Council Tax law, I cannot believe that the council have let it get this far, and have the cheek to make you pay.
    I know they mess up occasionally with the bills but normally its sorted in a couple of months. Two years is appauling.

    The amount due is probably not even worth the cost and time they have spent to collect it.

    For the record, Council Tax summons won't have an affect on credit records etc. Only a County Court Judgement (CCJ) would show, Council Tax does not fall under these judgements.

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