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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 32295
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I need legal advice badly. Between March 2011 and October

Customer Question

I need legal advice badly.
Between March 2011 and October 2012 I was claiming job seekers allowance.
I live with my mother who is a council tenant. In Oct 2010 she left the country to take care of my grandmother after my grandfather died. She was paying the council tax but defaulted on the payments.
I didn't know what to do so after many calls to the council they advised me to make myself liable so that I could claim council tax benefit. They told me that since I was on JSA I would receive full benefit and so my mother would not have to pay anything until I returned.
In Oct 2011 I was made liable and my liability was backdated to the beginning of the tax year Apr 2011.
I paid some money towards the account because it took a long time to process my account. In Jan 2012 my mother returned to the property. Before she returned a fraud officer visited my house as I was not on the tenancy agreement. I never maintained that I was the tenant I was simply the occupier.
In Feb 2012 the council made my mother and I jointly liable and backdated our joint liability to Apr 2011. Meaning all that time I was told not to pay anything - meant I had to pay half which was £900+ and they wanted it in one go.
So we reached an agreement and set up a payment plan that meant we paid £50 for the 2011/12 tax year and paid £85 towards p/m towards the 2012/13 tax year which was a discounted price due to my benefit.
In July 2012 last year I received an email that stated I was incorrectly made liable and that I was not entitled to Council tax benefit. I was also informed that the benefit that was awarded to me (Nov 2011 to Jul 2012) would be added to my mother's bill.
Up until now I am still listed on the council tax bill. I have appealled their decision and I have to go to court in a few weeks. I've been asked to submit additional eveidence to the court but I am so in over my head I don't know where to start.
The council are saying that no exeptions are made when it comes to council tax benefit and that I have no right to council tax benefit. But I have proof that they advised me to be made liable. I also have proof that they were awre of my situation and that I was treated as liable for council tax when my mother wasn't here. I also have liabilty orders in my name for the account before and after my mother came back.
Can someone please help. Thanks
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 5 years ago.
What do you want to know about this?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I want to know whether I have an argument to have the council tax decision reversed

Expert:  Jo C. replied 5 years ago.
Why do they say you are not liable?
Are they saying you are not the homeowner? Or do not live there?