What do you know about bailiffs coming to the door?

(43 Posts)
Lighthousekeeping Sat 27-Apr-13 11:52:26

My friend was out last week and that's exactly what happened. She lives in a shared house and the person she was paying rent to got behind with the council tax from a couple of years ago. The council office say they owe £600 and the baliff has bumped it up to 1200. My friend can't sleep. She's on her own in the house and having to pay the rent on her own. If she managed to find £600 could she at it straight to the council and that would be it?

gordyslovesheep Sat 27-Apr-13 11:58:37

I don't understand ? Council tax is by name isn't it not address? so why would your friend be responsible for someone elses unpaid bill?

gordyslovesheep Sat 27-Apr-13 11:59:44

and how is she on her own if it's a shared house <confused>

Tallyra Sat 27-Apr-13 12:02:21

I had one turn up at my flat once for someone I had never heard of. I told them thus, and they very graciously went away and never bothered me again. It is to do with the person that ran up the bill, not you. if in doubt, call the CAB or even the council themselves.

SavoyCabbage Sat 27-Apr-13 12:05:28

She shouldn't pay it! It's not her debt. She should tell the bailiffs everything she can about the debtor.

LIZS Sat 27-Apr-13 12:10:15

Does she share with the person who owes the money, was she living there when debt accumulated ? They can't take action against her, only the person named on the bill.

HoHoHoNoYouDont Sat 27-Apr-13 12:12:11

Tell her not to worry, they can only act against the person who received the bill.

wonderingsoul Sat 27-Apr-13 12:14:42

as other ops have said as long as her name is not listed on the bill they cant touch her. does th eperson live in the house shes renting?

if so i think it may be wise to start looking else where.

Lighthousekeeping Sat 27-Apr-13 12:15:07

Liz you are right. Her name is on the bill along with the person she shared with who has moved. She's on her own as she's looking for someone to replace the old flat mate.

HerrenaHarridan Sat 27-Apr-13 12:15:15

Tell her not to let them in. Explain and prove if necessary that she is not the person they are looking for and that she doesn't know where she's disappeared off to.

Speak to cab smile

EllieArroway Sat 27-Apr-13 12:17:19

Tell her to contact the council ASAP. If there's doubt over who owes the money, they can recall the case from the bailiffs.

If the person named on the bailiffs paperwork is not your friend, then she can show some ID to the bailiff and they will bugger off.

In the meantime, they CANNOT break into her house unless she's already let them in previously & agreed a walking possession order. (Theoretically, they can do this if the order has been signed, but in practice this is rare).

Tell her not to let the bailiffs in AT ALL and don't pay them a thing. If they can't collect from her, it will be referred back to the council any way. If she's worried about going to prison for not paying - this ONLY happens to refusers (people who could pay but won't), never people who can't (genuinely can't), and your friend would be one of those.

Lighthousekeeping Sat 27-Apr-13 12:17:41

Can she pay the money direct to the council or is it too late?

ProfYaffle Sat 27-Apr-13 12:17:49

Have a look here and tell her to get an appointment with the CAB who can advise in detail.

HoHoHoNoYouDont Sat 27-Apr-13 12:18:20

So her name is on the bill? She needs to contact the council ASAP in that case and work out a payment plan. Councils don't piss about with this stuff.

HoHoHoNoYouDont Sat 27-Apr-13 12:19:31

It shouldn't be too late to contact the council, they will probably add an admin fee and call off the bailiffs.

Right: bailiffs are nearly always private companies rather than civil servants, which means they are often dishonest, particularly about how much extra they try to charge on top of the debt. There is a maximum they are legally allowed to charge, but many of them ignore this. There's been a fair bit in the press about the dodgy tactics they often use, and your friend should know her rights and stand up to the bastards.

First thing to do is get on to the council and find out exactly how much is owed, and try to make an arrangement to pay in installments.

Also, this site is brilliant.

MidniteScribbler Sat 27-Apr-13 12:56:29

I'm a bit confused. Is your friend renting the property from the owner, or is she subletting from another tenant? If the property owner owes the tax, then she should be able to show her lease to prove she doesn't own the property. If she's a co-tenant then she may in fact be liable for the debt, and she may need to pay it, then take the person who owes the money to civil claims to reclaim the money due.

Itchywoolyjumper Sat 27-Apr-13 13:00:16

Bailiff are like vampires, they can't come in unless you invite them. There's a lot of good advice on this thread and CAB are great in these circumstances.

MNBlackpoolandFylde Sat 27-Apr-13 13:25:39

I had issues with baliffs thanks to exh although it did not get to the stage they came, they sent me a letter on the 30th April detailing they had been passed a debt in joint names, (I knew nothing about as I had fled). They then sent me a letter dated BEFORE the initial letter two days later saying they had given me chance to pay and I had not and therefore they had added x amount (was hundreds ) to bill and if I still did not pay they would take me to court.

I complained twice about their behaviour to council and sought advice. I agreed to pay X amount a month, council/baliff said fine.

I informed the council I would be paying them direct and each time sent reciept of payment to baliffs. Council said you cant, I was told by legal advice I could so I carried on, they did not like it but they could not take me to court as I was paying agreed amount.

TheChaoGoesMu Sat 27-Apr-13 14:34:44

Was your friend living there on the dates that the bill is referring to? Do you mean her name is on the bill now as she's living there now, but it wasn't then?

Lighthousekeeping Sat 27-Apr-13 15:21:29

It was on the bill with her old flat mate who has moved on

gordyslovesheep Sat 27-Apr-13 15:25:48

I am a bit confused

is your friend renting in her name? Is she sub letting?

Why has your friend not paid council tax - if she has why does she have to pay someone elses?

If CT is included in rent who was paying it?

what did/does the tenancy agreement say?

I would adviser her to go to the CAB

Footface Sat 27-Apr-13 15:27:38

Didn't she get taken to court first before the ballifts come round?

Can I ask ( no jugdement) has she been ignoring letter?

My advice is do not open the door. If she does he will shove his foot straight in so she can't close the door

LaGuardia Sat 27-Apr-13 16:28:17

I read somewhere that Council Tax and CSA are the only organisations who can have debts deducted straight from your wages so you need to get this sorted pronto. You definitely will have to pay if your name is on the bill - but better on your terms than theirs.

Bunraku Sat 27-Apr-13 17:30:51

Ugh I've had dealings with those particular bailiffs. Don't let them in. No matter what Not even for " oh it's raining mind if I just pop in" or " I won't take anything and I can help you if I can Just use your table to fill this in" "can I use the loo" ect. Leave them outside. Allowing them peaceful entry once means they can break in next time. Email or call your local council, explain the situation and offer installmenta directly with them. As long as she hasn't got a car at the property for them to levy on just blank the bailiffs and after a few unsuccessful tries they will return it to the council anyway.

The bailiffs will try anything. " I can accept instalments if I can come in and or you sign this sheet" (walking possession order) so they can break in next time. Deal directly with the council if possible.

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