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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10914
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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We were summonsed to Haringey Magistrates Court in July 2014

Customer Question

We were summonsed to Haringey Magistrates Court in July 2014 for non-payment of Council Tax for the period 2013-2014. Upon arrival, we were intercepted by a member of Haringey Council who suggested that she could look into the situation and postpone any case until she had investigated the case.
We explained that our original contract with our landlord from 2005, included council tax (and other bills) in our rent payments, and that the landlord had recently submitted a fradulent contract with a forged signature that neither resembeled either my or my partners names never mind signatures. They were also told that the first ever notification of any council tax payments for the period 9 Apr 2013 - 31 Mar 2014 was not received until April 15 2014, and after numerous attempts to speak with the council which were met with belligerence, rudeness and incompetence we were forced to attend court. We also told them that since July 2012 I had been living in Highcliffe, Dorset as a full-time, live-in carer for my partner's mother and as such was non-resident in Haringey. We were told not to worry that they would sort out the problem.
Subsequently, in late November 2014,some 4 months later, we received a liability order from Haringey Council for non-payment, followed shortly by a notice of enforcement.
As their first notification was sent to us 12 months late, (they have since admitted to this in a phone call with my partner), the charge was based on a fraudulent contract and I was not resident there, what is my best course of action?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Alex Watts : Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
Alex Watts : For now please let me know when you found out about this?
JACUSTOMER-9j2d9weq- :

Letter received by my partner who is still living (alone) at the address

Alex Watts : When was that?
JACUSTOMER-9j2d9weq- :

15 April 2014. He is paying by direct debit Council Tax payments for the period as a single occupant for the period Apr 2014 - Mar 2015

Alex Watts : So you found out about the liability order in April 2014?
JACUSTOMER-9j2d9weq- :

Liability order arrived in late November 2014

JACUSTOMER-9j2d9weq- :

Enforcement notice arrived 2 weeks later

Alex Watts : Ok so you found out recently.
Alex Watts : How did you get this, was it to a new address? Did you ever get the summons?
JACUSTOMER-9j2d9weq- :

When my partner received the letter addressed to us both at the address in Haringey, he informed me and brought the letter with him when he came to his mother's home on Christmas Eve for the holidays. I, personally, have not received any notification, even though they have now obviously accepted that I am non-resident in Haringey and were given my contact details in Dorset.

Alex Watts : Ok, you need to go to court and make a statutory declaration.
Alex Watts : This is where you swear on oath you had no knowledge of the proceedings of summons.
Alex Watts : If granted then any liability order is set aside.
Alex Watts : You can explain to the court why you don't owe it and why you didn't get any summons,
Alex Watts : You promise on oath you didn't know about it and the matter is set aside.
Alex Watts : But if you are later found you knew about proceedings and lied to the court you face a serious offence.
Alex Watts : So make a statutory declaration and the matter will be set aside.
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
JACUSTOMER-9j2d9weq- :

I have a appointment with a local solicitor tomorrow regarding this; but can I ask about the fact that a Magistrate's Court judgement was take out against me for a property where I did not reside and as such this will no doubt affect my credit rating

Alex Watts : No.
Alex Watts : it won't show.
Alex Watts : Its not a ccj so won't be on your credit file.
Alex Watts : Does that help?
JACUSTOMER-9j2d9weq- :

Has helped put my mind more at ease, although even though Haringey have been told that we are seeking legal advice have refused to suspend any visit by balliffs

Alex Watts : Ok good,
Alex Watts : can I clarify anything else for you?
JACUSTOMER-9j2d9weq- :

Thank you

Alex Watts : Great, can I ask you to rate my answer before you go today, the button should be at the bottom of the screen,
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10914
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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