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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 3613
Experience:  Bankruptcy, liquidations, administrations, pre pack sales, re use of company names and director duties and offences.
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A craftsman friend of mine went bankrupt last Oct due to his

Customer Question

A craftsman friend of mine went bankrupt last Oct due to his local council demanding business rates for the premises he had vacated nearly a year before. Five months after the bankruptcy hearing he received a claim for next year's rates from a different bailiff who had apparently 'bought the debt'. The magistrate told my friend he will not be contacted anymore by any creditor, yet the saga continues. Islington Council appear more in tune with dodgy landlords than law abiding citizens. This workshop has been empty for nearly 18 months, yet they are hounding my friend for rates, even though the landlord is not asking for rent. He simply doesn't want to pay the rates himself because he cannot let the property due to its terrible state; in fact, the health and safety inspector would close it down !!!! This friend lives with and is caring for his 90 year old incapacitated father and is now suicidal with worry that the bailiffs will turn up at his father's house and cause him serious harm. PLEASE can you tell me who to approach to stop these bailiffs hounding the man. Thank you so much !
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question and welcome.
My name is ***** ***** I will assist you.
Are the rates being claimed for the period before or after his bankruptcy?
Has he been appointed with an officer at the Official Receivers Office?
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks Alex for coming back to me.

The new claim is for last year, 2014/2015 and next year, 2015/2016.

The bankruptcy was done and dusted five months ago and my friend was told that now no one could make any further demands. However, now a NEW bailiff claims rates for TWO years ! My friend is supposed to prove he is no longer legally at the old workshop. How on earth can one do that ??? Surely, the fact the landlord has not been asking for rent for well over a year is enough proof one does not occupy the premises ????!!!! I will find out about 'officer at the Official Receivers Office' but you may have further news for me in the meantime.

Best regards, Helga

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you.
What I suggest you do is the following:
1. Write to the Bailiffs a say:
- Your friend is no longer trading and all the debts they are pursuing relate to his estate in bankruptcy. If they have any claim on these debts they should contact the Official Receiver;
- Say the them that it is a criminal to pursue someone for a debt so as to cause harassment in accordance with S.40 of the Administration of Justice Act 1970;
- Say to the bailiffs that if they do not stop chasing your friend then your friend reserves the right to either:
(i) Report the matter to the Police;
or
(ii) Complain to Trading Standards www.tradingstandards.gov.uk/
Write to the Council and say;
- They should not pursuing vulnerable member of the constituency in this manner;
- Say that if they do not take the matter up with the Official Receiver you will be left with no chance but to complain to the Local Government Ombudsman http://www.lgo.org.uk/making-a-complaint/
I look forward to hearing from you.
Kind regards
AJ
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 3613
Experience: Bankruptcy, liquidations, administrations, pre pack sales, re use of company names and director duties and offences.
Alex J. and other Bankruptcy Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you Alex. I would love to come back with some more info tomor Sunday and hopefully get more helpful suggestions soon after.


Kind regards,


Helga

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Frankly, Alex, no one seems to be able or willing to answer the basic question of how to stop a dishonest landlord and even a dishonest Council, yes dishonest Council ! In fact, I have plenty reason to suspect that they are being bribed by the rogue landlord. We contacted the Receiver who says he cannot intervene, Citizens Advice who only deal with private matters and meanwhile we have a claim for new rates 2015/2016. If we don't pay we face a court summons and the bankruptcy is nullified and if we pay any part of it to avoid that, we acknowledge responsibility. In other words, you are damned if you do and you're damned if you dont. By the looks of it, one virtually has to take the Council to Court, who despite clear evidence ignore even the Official Receiver's certificate proving bankruptcy and instead continue to demand rates for premises we have vacated in Nov 2013, have no keys for and the landlord is clearly letting to new tenants for cash ! Already in the past he demanded either cash or cheques in different names.


Please tell me how many more days I have for my £56 I paid to your company by Credit Card ?


Thank you, Helga

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

FOUND IT SOMEWHERE IN THE ETHER !!


Frankly, Alex, no one seems to be able or willing to answer the basic question of how to stop a dishonest landlord and even a dishonest Council, yes dishonest Council ! In fact, I have plenty reason to suspect that they are being bribed by the rogue landlord. We contacted the Receiver and the Gov Ombudsman and neither can intervene. Citizens Advice only deal with private matters but gave us the tel no of a legal advice centre, which is engaged around the clock ! Meanwhile, we received a claim for new rates 2015/2016. If we don't pay we face a court summons and the bankruptcy is nullified and if we pay any part of it to avoid that, we acknowledge responsibility. In other words, you are damned if you do and you're damned if you don't. By the looks of it, one virtually has to take the Council to Court, who despite clear evidence ignore even the Official Receiver's certificate proving bankruptcy and instead continue to demand rates for premises we have vacated in Nov 2013, have no keys for and the landlord is clearly letting to new tenants for cash ! Already in the past he demanded either cash or cheques in different names. Is there any chance I can phone you instead of having to type everything out ??


Please tell me how many more days I have for my £56 I paid to your company by Credit Card ?


Thank you, Helga

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