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M S E Refugee

Threatened with court over non payment of Council Tax

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I will try and keep this as brief as possible.

We moved into our new house at the end of February and I phoned the council on the day that we moved in to tell them that our new property was no longer a holiday let and was now a private dwelling so I asked them to re assess our property and give us a new Council Tax Band.

They said it was no problem and it would take 6 to 8 weeks,I then had a letter off them a couple of weeks later for a bill for non domestic national rates for £1330.

So I phoned them again and they told me to ignore this and that everything was in hand and I should get my new banding soon.

After 8 weeks I phoned them yet again and after being handed over to various departments they said that the person who deals with re banding properties was on long term sick and someone else  would take over soon so it would take a little longer to issue my bill,I said to them I was concerned that I would receive a summons for non payment but they said they knew all about my case and I ought not to worry. 

Yesterday I received a letter stating that I was in arrears of non domestic national rates and I have 7 days to pay over £1300 or they will take me to court.

Has anyone got any advice on how to deal with these inept fuckers.:PissedOff:

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Set it out clearly in writing and send it to, or ideally visit, your local councillor.

When I moved in I gave them all the information and all the bills came in correctly.  Then a month letter I received a bill for an additional, earlier, month.

I phoned up to question it and they had checked with the seller (some complicated arrangement, in house firm working for McCarthy and Stone on selling buybacks) who had told them the earlier, provisional completion date so they had just changed it and billed me without explanation.

In order to get it cancelled I had to send scans of the legal letters to prove that I wasn't lying which they had automatically assumed I was doing in billing me.

I know people who don't check their bank account or bills; they would have just lost their money without being informed of the fact.

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I will have to get something in writing off these clowns to prove they have not billed us correctly.

Before our Home was a holiday let it was a Band C property and there have been no extra bedrooms or extensions added.

Surely they could just temporarily bill me for a Band C property until it is sorted out.

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1 hour ago, M S E Refugee said:

I will have to get something in writing off these clowns to prove they have not billed us correctly.

Before our Home was a holiday let it was a Band C property and there have been no extra bedrooms or extensions added.

Surely they could just temporarily bill me for a Band C property until it is sorted out.

"They", as in the person who the authority to make such changes, is probably the one person who is off sick.

If you have the money I'd be inclined to pay it to stop the current hassle and the go through the appeals / complaints process.

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42 minutes ago, Frank Hovis said:

"They", as in the person who the authority to make such changes, is probably the one person who is off sick.

If you have the money I'd be inclined to pay it to stop the current hassle and the go through the appeals / complaints process.

The problem is that I have been billed for a non domestic rate rather than council tax and I don't want to pay at the non domestic rate as it has been a private dwelling since we took ownership of the property.

We have kept them informed of the situation and it is not my problem that they don't have the staff to run their department properly.

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I assume that you also have the records (date and time and duration) of the calls made to the council which from your side 'document' and back up your side of the story. The council should also have records of calls received .... well maybe not. As Frank said I would be tempted to pay the cash to shut them up and them sue them for compo for all the hassle and their incompetence.

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15 minutes ago, satch said:

I assume that you also have the records (date and time and duration) of the calls made to the council which from your side 'document' and back up your side of the story. The council should also have records of calls received .... well maybe not. As Frank said I would be tempted to pay the cash to shut them up and them sue them for compo for all the hassle and their incompetence.

No I have no records of calls,I was given assurances that the bill was on its way.

I really don't want to pay non domestic rates as I am not running a business and I would assume that they could then say I was a business as I had paid the non domestic rates.

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16 minutes ago, M S E Refugee said:

No I have no records of calls,I was given assurances that the bill was on its way.

I really don't want to pay non domestic rates as I am not running a business and I would assume that they could then say I was a business as I had paid the non domestic rates.

Well then it depends how much of an awkward git you are and how confident you are that the situation coudl be righted retorsepctively without your losing out.

My previous car insurer - Hastings Direct - failed to properly register my cancellation of recovery cover on renewal.  The renewal went fine, I received cover without this recovery at the agreed price and paid it.  Then two or three months later their finance department wrote asking for the outstanding payment.  I refused to pay and told them to check their records and tehy woudl find it had been cancelled at renewal.  This game of phone call / letter tennis continued until I received a letter on one Friday saying that if they didn't receive the money immediately that my cover would be cancelled as of that weekend. 

So that weekend I didn't drive because I had no idea if I was covered; but I had no choice but to drive on Monday.  Letter comes midweek confirming that I did cancel the recovery cover and had nothing to pay; if there was any apology involved I don't recall it.  I switched insurer at expiry; shame you can't do that with Councils!

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8 hours ago, M S E Refugee said:

I will try and keep this as brief as possible.

We moved into our new house at the end of February and I phoned the council on the day that we moved in to tell them that our new property was no longer a holiday let and was now a private dwelling so I asked them to re assess our property and give us a new Council Tax Band.

They said it was no problem and it would take 6 to 8 weeks,I then had a letter off them a couple of weeks later for a bill for non domestic national rates for £1330.

So I phoned them again and they told me to ignore this and that everything was in hand and I should get my new banding soon.

After 8 weeks I phoned them yet again and after being handed over to various departments they said that the person who deals with re banding properties was on long term sick and someone else  would take over soon so it would take a little longer to issue my bill,I said to them I was concerned that I would receive a summons for non payment but they said they knew all about my case and I ought not to worry. 

Yesterday I received a letter stating that I was in arrears of non domestic national rates and I have 7 days to pay over £1300 or they will take me to court.

Has anyone got any advice on how to deal with these inept fuckers.:PissedOff:

I had similar issues with Enfield. 

I got their CEO and Leader of the Councils Emails and copied them in until the issue was resolved. 

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10 hours ago, M S E Refugee said:

I will try and keep this as brief as possible.

We moved into our new house at the end of February and I phoned the council on the day that we moved in to tell them that our new property was no longer a holiday let and was now a private dwelling so I asked them to re assess our property and give us a new Council Tax Band.

They said it was no problem and it would take 6 to 8 weeks,I then had a letter off them a couple of weeks later for a bill for non domestic national rates for £1330.

So I phoned them again and they told me to ignore this and that everything was in hand and I should get my new banding soon.

After 8 weeks I phoned them yet again and after being handed over to various departments they said that the person who deals with re banding properties was on long term sick and someone else  would take over soon so it would take a little longer to issue my bill,I said to them I was concerned that I would receive a summons for non payment but they said they knew all about my case and I ought not to worry. 

Yesterday I received a letter stating that I was in arrears of non domestic national rates and I have 7 days to pay over £1300 or they will take me to court.

Has anyone got any advice on how to deal with these inept fuckers.:PissedOff:

Make sure you have evidence of all your communications with the council tax department is my advice. IME many council workers are inept to the extent they can’t read a letter and respond adequately to questions.

When my son reached 18 years old he started an “apprenticeship” after leaving school. He was paid about £70pw and I started charging him £10 pw dig money for life education purposes.

As a single parent until then I had a 25% discount on my council tax but immediately it was raised to full amount when son reached 18. In my circumstances I was very pissed off having to pay full council tax when son was earning a pittance so I applied for a council tax rebate and fully disclosed my income and circumstances in writing. It was granted to me. 

When I moved house seven years ago over the next few years I received numerous letters with varying amounts to pay for council tax but my circumstances hadn’t changed. I wrote and asked each time why the payment amount had changed and received replies that left me non the wiser!

When my son got a decent well paid job around three years ago I wrote and told them. I didn’t get a letter in response, I received three demands going back three years for money I owed them. It was around £2500 that had to be paid within 28 days.

I wrote to them and asked why I had the demands when I had kept them updated about the circumstances of both myself and my son. The reply said my occupational pension had “been deleted” from calculations. Oh really? I responded....it certainly wasn’t me who deleted it because I have it writing that you know about it.

It was decided by a council officer that it wasn’t my fault that my council tax payments were wrong so I didn’t have to pay for their error.

The letter also said I could still be “entitled” to a rebate in my circumstances. No thanks! Son was earning decent money now, could contribute more to the household and I preferred to just cough up.

I sent four letters telling them to send me the appropriate full council tax bill for my home and that I didn’t want any rebate because it was too much hassle. Eventually, after several letters from them telling me I was “entitled” it happened. I received a standard full council tax bill!

The pile of letters from that three year period is 4 inches thick. What an utter waste of money!

 

 

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20 hours ago, satch said:

I assume that you also have the records (date and time and duration) of the calls made to the council which from your side 'document' and back up your side of the story. The council should also have records of calls received .... well maybe not. As Frank said I would be tempted to pay the cash to shut them up and them sue them for compo for all the hassle and their incompetence.

I have just been through my telephone bills and I have phoned them 4 times since March 1st,I really would love to sue these bastards as I am furious they can't even perform a simple task of issuing the correct Council Tax bill.

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Phoned them this morning and some idiot at the Council hadn't clicked the option to make the Non Domestic Rates inactive so a Bill was just generated by computer.

Hopefully this is resolved but I won't hold my breath.

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On 14/05/2018 at 11:17, M S E Refugee said:

Phoned them this morning and some idiot at the Council hadn't clicked the option to make the Non Domestic Rates inactive so a Bill was just generated by computer.

Hopefully this is resolved but I won't hold my breath.

I have my fingers crossed for you.

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Posted (edited)

After the Council said that I couldn't pay them anything until I was re-banded they have now supplied me with a reference number and their bank details.

I have paid them the full amount for a Band C property which I believe my Home will be after it is finally sorted out.

Edited by M S E Refugee

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On 12/05/2018 at 11:44, M S E Refugee said:

The problem is that I have been billed for a non domestic rate rather than council tax and I don't want to pay at the non domestic rate as it has been a private dwelling since we took ownership of the property.

We have kept them informed of the situation and it is not my problem that they don't have the staff to run their department properly.

First rule with councils is to communicate via letter or Email 

I always insist on a email address /name of a person and department i also make it clear why i want to communicate that way 

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7 hours ago, Long time lurking said:

First rule with councils is to communicate via letter or Email 

I always insist on a email address /name of a person and department i also make it clear why i want to communicate that way 

And if you have to speak via phone then record the calls. You can get apps which will do this automatically. 

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I'd have been tempted to go to court and put all the evidence that I'd tried to sort it out in front of the judge. I doubt they'd have been impressed with the council.

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14 hours ago, Rave said:

I'd have been tempted to go to court and put all the evidence that I'd tried to sort it out in front of the judge. I doubt they'd have been impressed with the council.

I agree but the problem is that you pursue this on your time at your cost and the council employees defend it ... on your time and at your cost. The council employees spend a day in court and get paid and you spend a day in court ... and do not get paid. The council will  do nothing to admonish the employee and the employee will have a few days off due to 'stress' and then the council will increase the council tax bill to cover the additional costs.

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1 hour ago, sleepwello'nights said:

They must be careful. It is taxpayers money after all!


Sick making when you think about how much money they've wasted here.
20k by all accounts.

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