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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 12182
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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I have just been served with a charge for payment of money

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I have just been served with a charge for payment of money by Sheriff Officers. The charge is wrong. How do I get this removed and can I claim compensation from the Council?
Thank you for your question.

In what way is the charge wrong?

-Could you explain your situation a little more?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The background is that I have a flat in Edinburgh which I let out. There are ongoing problems with damp which has caused lengthy periods of occupancy. Despite being a registered landlord with the Council, they were sending rates payment notices to an empty flat which meant I was in blissful ignorance. The Sheriff Officer, however, has had no such communication problem - strange that!


Since becoming aware of their demands, I have explained to them on several occasions that the flat was either unoccupied or undergoing structural repair work during the period in question (2009-12). I have also provided them with documentation to prove this on at least three occasions and have requested a meeting to resolve it on a similar number of times. I also showed the serving officers some of the correspondence but on telephone call back to their office were informed the "debt" was still live.


My partner is on the verge of a nervous breakdown, we continually get correspondence from one person and the reply is picked up by someone else who doesn't read the full case history. We are distressed, fed up and extremely angry.


I await your response with interest.

You have tried to do everything right, particularly, by asking for a meeting. You don't say if you've completed an application form for exemption. If you haven't you must do this either on a paper form or online if your particular local authority has this facility. Either way an application for exemption has to be in writing. If that is submitted it may have the effect of bringing the collection proceedings to a halt.

From your narrative I take that you have dealt with this by telephone and face to face with the sheriff officers. This has to be done in writing with the council with copies of all letters sent to the sheriff officers.

If you find you are still getting nowhere than your remedy is to go to court to stop the proceedings by an action called suspension and interdict. You ask the court to suspend execution of the charge and interdict further proceedings pending the issue being sorted out. To do such an action you would need to instruct a solicitor.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX has been mainly by email.


Can I claim compensation from the Council for time spent, distress etc?



No your can't, but if you had to take them to court you could claim your court expenses.
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