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Harris
Harris, Law Specialist
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 2739
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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Good Morning. I and my ex husband are divorced since 3 years

Customer Question

Good Morning. I and my ex husband are divorced since 3 years ago. He left in the property we used to live which is in Peterborough. Since 5 years ago I moved to Norwich and live there with my partner. However because my ex did not have money to pay my half the house is still on both names. It became apparent recently that he was not paying his council tax in Peterborough. Somehow the Peterborough council found my address in Norwich and they started sending me threatening letters requesting payment for a council tax for the property in Peterborough. I pay council tax in Norwich.Why should I be asked to pay council tax in peterborough as well where I dont live since 5 years ago. At the same time it became apparent to me that Peterborough council do nothing to get the money own to them by my ex husband. They never contacted him, They never sent a letter to him. He is the owner of the house who still lives there. Instead they sending letters to me to request payments. I would like an advice what can I do in this situation as I dont feel its my responsibility to pay council tax for property in a county where I dont live.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Just to clarify that my ex is living in the property.
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
Hi, thank you for your question. You should not be liable for the council tax if he remains occupying the property. He will be considered owner-occupier and as an owner-occupier he is liable for this solely. If the property was unoccupied then you would both be liable for council tax.I would suggest that you contact Peterborough council and explain the situation to them.If you found this information helpful please provide a positive rating. I will not be credited for answering your question without a positive rating. Thank you
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. I already contacted Peterborough council via phone, wrote emails explaining the situation giving them the contact mobile number for my ex husband. However it seems all these falls on dead ears and they dont care and continue to harass me and send me more letters, This really affects very badly mt relationship with my current partner.Please advice me on what other actions I can take. Thanks
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
If you have not done so, I would suggest that you send them a formal letter and also show them proof that you are residing elsewhere and paying council tax in your current area.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
When I spoke to them over the phone their argument was because I am on the house deeds and my ex does not pay they have right to ask for the money from me. The sent me now a letter that if I dont pay the outstanding amount they will take a legal actions against me. Can they do this? At the same time they neither contacted my ex or made any attempt to collect the money from him. All the letters are sent to my address in Norwich. They even sent a letter addressed to him to my address in Norwich which cause a big argument between me and my partner.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It seems to me that they dont care whatever I say or do and they will continue to harass me.
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
How do you know that they have not contacted your ex to seek payment of the bill?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I called my ex husband and asked him and he told me that he does not have letters neither had been contacted.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am aware that they can contact his working place and can request payments from his salary.Seems they are not bothered to do this either but instead they are sending me letter after letter.
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
Payments from salary will only occur if they take the matter to court. If it went that far, then you have grounds to oppose the application due to you not occupying the property and for the liability to be for your ex solely. Have you sent the letters to your ex and requested that he settles it himself?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I discussed the matter with him over the phone and he keep promise that he will settle the payments and saying he will call them but he never does. I am really very upset because Peterborough Council keep harassing me and causing problems in my current relationship and ignore all the information I sent them. I will try and find the last email I sent them explaining that I dont live in the property which apparently they ignored.
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
You should send them a letter by recorded delivery as well to ensure that you have evidence of contacting them formally.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok I will try this , however are they in power to take legal actions against me for non payment of the council tax?
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
As they have continuously written to you about it then it is their view that you are jointly liable and if they went to court about this, then they will likely add you as a respondent to the application.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
So in conclusion , Do I have to pay this council tax because if I dont I will be in legal troubles and will go to prison?
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
From what you have said it should not be for you to pay and it should be for your husband. You have reasonable grounds to refuse to pay it and if the matter went to court your current circumstances are grounds to defend an application.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you.
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** goes well - if you have any questions in the future you can ask for me directly by starting your question For Harris