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Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.
Would I be right to assume that you have not been discharged from bankruptcy at this point and a trustee in bankruptcy has by now been appointed to act in your bankruptcy?
Thank you. Based on what you say the demand for rates will fall into your bankruptcy and you will not be personally liable outside of your bankruptcy. You will need to consider replying to the council advising the date you were made bankrupt and enclosing a copy of the bankruptcy order and contact details for your trustee and request that they forward the demand directly to her. You can copy in the Trustee too if you wish. The council should not continue to pursue to you once youhave provided this information and cannot do so legally. In the unlikely event you continue to receie demands from the council desput having provided this information you can raise a formal complaint and if necessary escalate it to the Local Authority Ombudsman though I doubt this would be necessary as there is no legal point in them pursuing you if you are bankrupt.
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They are right that it may not depending upon the dates. If you had for example already been discharged from bankruptcy and subsequently incurred the rate charges then you would be liable. However because you have presently not been discharged from your bankruptcy the demand falls within your bankruptcy. So the council are not wrong in what they have said - it is jut a generic reply not specific to your circumstances; depending upon the date you were made bankrupt you may be liable but in this case because of the date you were made bankrupt and the fact you have not been discharged you should not be liable so here it willmake a difference and once they have had the opportunity to review the evidence you have sent they will no doubt accept this.
Does the above answer all your questions or is there anything I can clarify or help you with any further?
Liability under the lease will fall into your bankruptcy in a sense your personal liability for rent under the lease would be voided in a manner of speaking. I cannot say for sure the circumstances regarding the rates but my guess would be that the council were not informed that you no longer ocupied the premises or of your bankruptcy so as far as they were concerned you were still the leaseholder occupying the premises. This could be because neither you nor the landlord told them which would not be uncommon. The council will take action based on the records.
If the lease was in your name, you should not be liable for rent from the point of your bankruptcy unless you are subsequently offered and accept a vesting of the lease back in your name. This cannot happen without your consent which you would presumably not give unless you wished to once again be bound by rent and liability for rates.
Is there anything above I can clarify for you?
That is essentially correct - I cannot say that they will not contact you again; they may but based on what you say you should not be liable for either the lease rent or rates subject as above. As such you should be able to simply provide a copy of your bankruptcy order and trustee contact details and ask that they deal direct with her. I am glad the above was of some assistance. Best wishes