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To think this is an attempt to cheat me but I don't know how or why

(67 Posts)
elderflowerlemonade Sat 27-Jun-15 11:06:14

I am in trouble, and I really need help which is largely the reason I am asking on here.

It is a little bit complicated but essentially I received notification in autumn 2012 that some council tax on a property I own hadn't been paid, and this had gone to the bailiffs hmm - I paid it.

Then in August 2013 I got the shock of my life when the bailiffs turned up again and said I still owed money. I paid it. These two amounts equalled nearly one and a half thousand pounds in total - one was £700 one was six hundred and something. I know that'll have bailiffs fees as well. I asked if that was it - was told yes.

Another letter in February 2014 and I rang up and honestly just kept getting passed from pillar to post - council said ring the bailiffs, bailiffs said ring the council. This kept going on until April 2014 when they turned up and I paid them £800 otherwise they would have clamped DHs car.

I've just had ANOTHER letter saying I owe money - HOW?

I think - I just don't know what to think. Haven't been resident in this property for over 2 years now. Can anybody help?

GreenAugustLion Sat 27-Jun-15 11:10:38

Why on Earth did you pay the second time, let alone the third. What proof do you have of payment - receipt/card statement?

The bailiffs are correct, it's the Council you need to be speaking to, they only do what they're instructed and probably hear 'oh I've paid it already' on every other call they make.

GreenAugustLion Sat 27-Jun-15 11:11:55

Cannot get my head around what you've been doing since August 2013 tbh. You are partly to blame for this by lack of action IMO.

NerrSnerr Sat 27-Jun-15 11:12:48

Have you had official notification of the debt?

LokiBear Sat 27-Jun-15 11:13:06

Do you have your receipts for your previous payments? You need to go down to the council offices with proof of payment and proof that you no longer live at that address.

LokiBear Sat 27-Jun-15 11:14:16

If you own the property do you rent it out?

Georgethesecond Sat 27-Jun-15 11:15:41

Look on citizensadvice.org.uk, it will tell you how to check the bills and deal with the bailiffs

Rememberallball Sat 27-Jun-15 11:16:01

Is this a property you own but rent out or does no one live in it?

If the former, you could be liable for unpaid council tax if the tenants don't pay up because you are the owner of the property. If the latter, some councils give a period of time that is free of council tax if the property is uninhabited and empty (of property as well as people) but not all councils do this and, as the owner of the property, you are liable for the council tax for the property.

Pumpkinpositive Sat 27-Jun-15 11:16:59

So basically, anyone can turn up at your door, claim you owe them money, and you'll hand it over no questions asked? hmm

Great. Now, where do you live?

Seriously though, OP, stop handing over money! Go to the council and ask for an explanation. Did the "bailifs" give you receipts?

maddening Sat 27-Jun-15 11:17:23

If bailiffs are in order there must be a court order - can you find the court order?

FryOneFatManic Sat 27-Jun-15 11:17:36

Go to the council with details of the bailiffs payments made, and ask them to cross check all their records. Do you have details of the periods the bailiffs payments are supposed to cover?

It's possible the council hasn't updated it's records properly and they still have you as living at the other address. The council might even owe you, not the other way around.

AndThisIsTrue Sat 27-Jun-15 11:18:03

Who lives there? Surely its up to tenants to pay their own council tax? Or if it's unoccupied I thought you didn't have to pay council tax? Do you receive the council tax bills? You need to go down to the council and get to the bottom of it.

elderflowerlemonade Sat 27-Jun-15 11:21:57

I obviously did not go into the script of the exchange I had with people at the door, and couldn't remember it anyway 2 years on but it certainly was not 'you owe money' 'oh ok then'.

I do have proof I paid through the transaction on my online bank statements and showed this to the August 2013 bailiffs. They just claimed I owed more. Whether I genuinely did or didn't it was pretty scary having them there so I paid to get rid of them hoping to ask questions later, but a lot of stuff has happened (bereavement and babies primarily)

I no longer own this particular property: it was sold in spring 2013. I last lived in it autumn 2011.

gallicgirl Sat 27-Jun-15 11:25:59

You know you have to pay council tax every year? Financial year runs 01 April to 31 March. It could be that there are multiple liability orders for multiple financial years, hence the visits from bailiffs.

If the property is tenanted then you need to give the names of tenants and dates resident to the council so they can be charged. If the property is empty or an HMO then the landlord pays. Empty properties are only exempt for a maximum of 6 months if at all and the length of exemption varies from council to council.

It sounds like you aren't getting the bills to your residential address and are therefore not being notified of court action. You need to correct this asap as fees can be huge once it's gone to bailiffs.

elderflowerlemonade Sat 27-Jun-15 11:26:54

I'm positive - absolutely positive - everything is paid. I was positive last time as well.

But it's proving it.

Even if I do pay it, it feels like they keep coming back and saying I still owe money.

gallicgirl Sat 27-Jun-15 11:28:58

Cross posted!

Ok. Check the council have ended your liability correctly then ask for a statement of account showing court costs and bailiff fees so you can work out if it's correct.
Post April 2014 bailiff fees are £75 for initial action then a further £235 if you don't pay when first asked.

ASettlerOfCatan Sat 27-Jun-15 11:29:26

You need to get out ALL your records of the following:

WHEN you lived in the property.
WHEN it was empty.
WHEN it had other tenants in.
WHAT you have paid and WHEN.

Take all this down to the council offices IN PERSON and get them to sort it out. ASK exactly WHAT period the bills you have paid cover, you should have had proper bills which state EXACTLY what you have paid and what it is for. You need to get copies of ANY council tax bills for the duration of the time you owned the property.

If you are in anyway confused get down to CAB with all the information. DO NOT GIVE THEM ANYMORE MONEY.

ASettlerOfCatan Sat 27-Jun-15 11:30:55

The council HAVE to have records of this stuff. Ask for ALL the information re this property. Also take proof you sold the property so you can ensure that they have logged that your liability for council tax has ended.

woowoo22 Sat 27-Jun-15 11:31:29

Put everything in writing to the Council and the baliffs. Write a very very very firm/robust letter stating the facts of what has happened. Ask for a breakdown of what you owe vs what you have already paid. Request a full response within 14 days.

This is madness OP! What about posting your letter on here with names/adresses/dates redacted?

Good luck.

faitaccompli Sat 27-Jun-15 11:38:14

Could there be another property next door with a similar name. We have had ridiculous problems with the council (and the Royal Mail) with their inability to tell the difference between the two properties.

Marcipex Sat 27-Jun-15 11:52:08

A friend had bailiffs round when her address was confused with a very similar one eg 15 Mandela House,15 Mandela Gardens.
Check EVERYTHING.

ProfYaffle Sat 27-Jun-15 12:05:06

If you go to the CAB they should be able to help you challenge liability for the debt.

elderflowerlemonade Sat 27-Jun-15 12:08:21

Thanks, I can't go to the CAB as the waiting list is ridiculously long.

It doesn't make sense. The property has never had tenants in.

I have attached a photo and the sums don't make sense either (£140 + £75 doesn't make £450?)

fedupbutfine Sat 27-Jun-15 12:12:27

if the property has never had tenants in and you were still the owner between moving out and selling (almost two years?) then you were liable for the Council Tax. This is why you're being chased.

elderflowerlemonade Sat 27-Jun-15 12:13:29

Yes, and I have paid it.

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