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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71051
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I need some advice urgently regarding a council for payment

Customer Question

I need some advice urgently regarding a council for payment of council tax. In December 2007 I purchased a home, in Jan 2008 before I moved in the property flooded making it inunhabitable. I only moved into the property in Aug 2010. I wrote to the council advising them of this. They then wrote back advising that they would exempt the charges. I believed that they would exempt this in full. When I moved in as it came at a time when my son passed away a month earlier I did not contact them until Feb 11. I met with an official at the tax office and explained my position, I was not employed at the time having left work as I was at my lowest not knowing if I wanted to live or join my son. My husband was working but his pay barely covered the mortgage and this went into arrears. I made two payments of £100 but even this we could not afford and meant us going without food. As I have a young child who had to get to school, I applied for financial help with his transport, but the council declined this saying that the school is a walking distance. I tried to ask them how they expected a six year old to walk about an hour to school plus a further hour to back home. But they were not interested. I then started getting bailiffs calling aroung on a regular basis with one even trying to force the door open. The council then had me arrested and I later attended court in Nov 2011. The court wrote off over a year of the debt and agreed for me to pay £100 per month. I am still paying this. To my surprise the bailiffs started coming to the house in March 12. Not to mention all the letters from the bailiffs, I contacted the council to find out what was happening. I was told that the bailiffs have been appointed to collect the debt for 2011, I asked them why then did they not raise this in court which I attended in Nov 2011, they said it was not included. The bailiffs are continuing to visit our home. I spoke to the bailiff company the lady that answered, could not even make out why this was happening, but said they were following instruction from the council. In April 12 set a standing order for the current years charges while I continued to pay £100 making this a total of £233 per month. I have just recieved a letter from the council with a further court hearing date. I requested a further meeting with the council. I showed her our income and expenditure. I was rather surprised when she said we all have to make sacrifices. I advised her I am already paying £233 per month but she did not seem concerned. I can't sleep with what the council is doing to us. Please could you advise what help I can get.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your question . My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

Would it be possible to summarise your post? I'm afraid it exceeds the word length and I can't see it all
Customer: replied 4 years ago.





Please could you advise how many words per summary.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
I'm not sure why I can't see it all. I presume there is a word limit.

Is it possible to summarise in any way?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I require help with the constant harrassment from the council and bailiffs regarding non payment of council tax despite me paying what was agreed in court. They have now resorted to saying that they did not include one year at the court which is what they claim they are pursuing.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
Did you pay for the relevant year?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.


At the court hearing of 21 November 2011 the court ordered that I pay £100 per month on arrears, Which I am still paying.I also setup a standing order to pay last years bill which I paid in full. I was paying £233.00 per month in total.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
Yes, so did you pay for the relevant year?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The year they are chasing is for 2011, which should have been covered in the amount taken to court. The court wrote off a large part of the debt as we were not living in the property and ordered that I pay £100 per month for the balance.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
But 2011 wasn't included in that liability order?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

That is what they are claiming but when you calculate the balance that they advised me was due £3058.82 after the hearing taking off what the court wrote off of £1644.78, the figures do not add up. This adds up to £4703.60. Should they not ahve included 2011 then the total should have been £4162.00. Since November 2011 I have paid £1566 towards the arrears. Plus £1333.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
It depends when they brought the claim.

Come what may, if they didn’t apply to the Court for the period of 2011 then there is no reason they cannot do so now. The fact that the court has considered other years does not mean that the cannot review a claim for that year.

Obviously it could be a mistake. Councils do get things wrong sometimes.

Also,if there is no liability order in place for that year they cannot take action against you to enforce it unless they seek a further liability order.

If they do and you have defences such as not being in the property at that time or otherwise being exempt then you can raise them at court.

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