Thanks for your question. Please kindly RATE my answer when you are satisfied
Did the council issue an invoice for business rates originally please and did they send a reminder?
A direct debit was set up for the invoice to be paid over 10 months as i have done every year with them. A chartered Surveyor was reviewing my rates to see if they could get them reduced , which they have done.
Thanks. So was the direct debit cancelled as part of that review process?
I thought while this was going on the payment would be on hold until it was resolved . They told me on Friday this was not the case. I had cancelled my direct debit but apparently was wrong to do so.
Thanks. Did you receive any advice to cancel the same or was this a decision you made yourself?
Did the council send a reminder before issuing a summons?
The decision was my decision. I received letters saying we were unable to take your direct debit payment but i thought these were like computer generated replies.
Thanks. The council are require to show that they have sent a reminder before the issue a summons. They do not have to send either the reminder nor the summon by registered post however. It is deemed satisfactory to simply send such documents by first class post.
The 1st i was aware of the summons was when the bailiff called. On my statement for this years rates on closer inspection i can see there is a charge for a summons but as i said i did not receive this or any letter saying it was going to court if not paid
You can negotiate with the council to try to agree a repayment arrangement with them.
If they can show the 1) issued an invoice, 2) issued a reminder and 3) issued a summons, albeit that you did not receive one or more of these documents unfortunately the council can show that it has complied with its statutory obligations.
I suspect as a result you may have difficulty in respect of the summons costs. However there may be steps you can take in respect of the bailiffs costs as follows
Statutory Regulations allow for complaints about the conduct of Certificated Bailiff’s to be made to the County Court using a very simple court form entitled Form 4 Complaint
You can make a compliant if his fees are excessive, if he is aggressive rude or threatening, acted irregularly or unlawfully or levied excessive distress.
A court can award compensation and take action against a bailiff it finds against.
Is there anything above I can clarify for you?