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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 25645
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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Hi, Bailiffs called to my works premises with a notice

Customer Question

Hi,
Bailiff`s called to my works premises with a notice of distress for unpaid business rates , they are charging £423 for this plus Ealing council charging £170 for issuing a summons.
I have spoke to the council and explained that i did not receive a summons but they said one was sent in the post and they have done all they need to.
I have been in business since 1989 if i received a summons i would have dealt with it to avoid these costs. Should it not have been sent by recorded delivery ?
Regards
Eddie Roberts, Hurricane Print LTD.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 4 years ago.

Josh-2010 :

Thanks for your question. Please kindly RATE my answer when you are satisfied

Josh-2010 :

Did the council issue an invoice for business rates originally please and did they send a reminder?

JACUSTOMER-frezlb73- :

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.

Josh-2010 :

Thanks. So was the direct debit cancelled as part of that review process?

JACUSTOMER-frezlb73- :

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.

Josh-2010 :

Thanks. Did you receive any advice to cancel the same or was this a decision you made yourself?

Josh-2010 :

Did the council send a reminder before issuing a summons?

JACUSTOMER-frezlb73- :

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.

Josh-2010 :

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.

JACUSTOMER-frezlb73- :

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

Josh-2010 :

You can negotiate with the council to try to agree a repayment arrangement with them.

Josh-2010 :

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.

Josh-2010 :

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

Josh-2010 :

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

Josh-2010 :

http://www.dealingwithbailiffs.co.uk/free/?a=1&f=dwbF4.pdf

Josh-2010 :

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.

Josh-2010 :

A court can award compensation and take action against a bailiff it finds against.

Josh-2010 :

Is there anything above I can clarify for you?