Alex Watts : Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return You do not need to wait here as you will get an email when I reply. !
Alex Watts : Have you made a formal complaint to the Chief Executive or Ombudsman yet please?
No, I haven't done this yet and I'm unclear as to what this will achieve. My main question is do the council have the right send this notice, demand that I complete it and threaten me with legal action if I don't? This is all with no evidence that I have any connection with the property in question.
Alex Watts : By writing to the chief executive office then you are asking for that department to review the matter.
Alex Watts : if you have never lived there and not named then you are not repsonsible.
Alex Watts : That office will investigate the matter.
Alex Watts : If they do and you are not happy with the outcome you can complain to the Ombudsman.
Alex Watts : They offer a free independent service and their website is www.lgo.org.uk
Alex Watts : Finally you can seek a judicial review which is where a high court examines the decision to see whether it is legal and reasonable.
Alex Watts : but this would be in the high court and could be expansive.
Alex Watts : So try the chief officer and ombudsman.
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
So do I have to respond to this notice? The council say it is an offence not to and I could be subject to a fine of £1000. They have given me until 4th July.
Alex Watts : Yes you need to respond. Set out your position formally. You don't own it you have never lived there.
Alex Watts : Then if they try and take you to court, you can show the judge you responded setting out your position.
Alex Watts : Does that help?
It helps in that I understand my position better. However it is infuriating that the burden appears to be on me to prove that I have no connection with this property. Surely the council; should need to have reasonable grounds to believe I own the property before issuing this notice, threatening me with further action and wasting more of my time. The ONLY thing linking me is that I have the same name as its target!
Alex Watts : Yes I agree which is why you should take the above steps.
Alex Watts : if this answers your question might I invite you to rate my answer.
Alex Watts : If the system won't let you please do say.
Alex Watts : If you need more help please click reply.