10k backdated unpaid council tax, what do I do?

(276 Posts)
CTfuckup Tue 15-Jun-21 13:27:45

Been living in staff accom for over 7 years, was never informed I had to pay council tax, moved in at 19, believed it fell under the business address as I didn't have a postal address of my own I.e post doesn't come to my house, private bin collection not council. My rent has come straight out my salary. I've saved hard and I've just bought my first house, contacted council to arrange to pay council tax for house and it's all come about that I owe them £10k. I don't have it, I've just spent every penny of my savings on a house deposit, my monthly outgoings are about to sky rocket as staff accom was cheap and all inclusive and I'm now paying mortgage, CT, bills etc for the first time. What do I do? I have a toddler who is in very expensive nursery. I work all the hours I can. I've cried all day.

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GreyhoundG1rl Tue 15-Jun-21 13:30:00

was never informed I had to pay council tax
Not the point, but; who on earth did you think was paying it? Didn't you have any bills?

Juststopasking Tue 15-Jun-21 13:31:03

Contact them and ask if you can be put a payment plan.

CTfuckup Tue 15-Jun-21 13:31:54

GreyhoundG1rl

*was never informed I had to pay council tax*
Not the point, but; who on earth did you think was paying it? Didn't you have any bills?


No rent only. Water, electric, gas etc all went through the business. I paid rent only. That's how I was able to save up to buy a house. I believed the property wasn't counted as a property in its own right as it's attached to the business, I didn't pay bills, I didn't have my own postal addresss and everything went to the business and I had to pick it up from there, I didn't have my own bins, anything. No one ever told me. My manager never mentioned it. I'm so scared

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CTfuckup Tue 15-Jun-21 13:33:40

I've just bought a house, I've come off a DMP this year, I've got young kids, I don't get how I can be liable 7 years later for £10k even a payment plan is going to be a huge struggle and puts me right back into the debt I've just worked so hard to get out of. I thought I'd finally got myself and my kids into a good place. It's all fucked

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DentonsFringeArnottsWaistcoat Tue 15-Jun-21 13:35:03

What kind of business? We’re you given staff accommodation in someone’s home where they ran a business? (Like eg an annex)

CTfuckup Tue 15-Jun-21 13:36:14

Trying to not be outing. Big national business. Accom attached to part of main premises.

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FunnyInjury Tue 15-Jun-21 13:38:14

Call them. They'll have had this situation before dont worry!
Ask if you can pay in small installments and see what they say, take it from there.

You've done nothing wrong and wont be treated like you have ime. I've been there!
Also get them to double check records, I lived in the grounds of a school for 4 years,and almost the same as you, it only came to light when I was moving elsewhere in the borough. We ended up agreeing that I would pay 2 years, and 2 were written off.

Try not to worry 😊

DentonsFringeArnottsWaistcoat Tue 15-Jun-21 13:38:28

And what do you mean seven years later? Do you mean you haven’t paid for the last seven years or do you mean the debt is from seven years ago?

rose69 Tue 15-Jun-21 13:38:52

Seek advice from citizens advice on liability of employer for not telling you and also possibility of appeal against the council decision. There are
New rules round debt write off that they may be able to help with or put you in touch with another agency that can.

DentonsFringeArnottsWaistcoat Tue 15-Jun-21 13:39:27

If the property you were living in was liable for CT I’m surprised they haven’t pursued it before now

DentonsFringeArnottsWaistcoat Tue 15-Jun-21 13:41:39

Debt write off doesn’t usually include Council Tax debt though unless there is extreme hardship

CTfuckup Tue 15-Jun-21 13:43:48

I have lived there for 7 years and 5 months, I have never had a council tax bill, water bill, elec bill, I knew the business paid these but apparently they did not pay the council tax they only paid everything else. This was not once explained to me or I would have contacted the council to pay, just like I have after completing on my house. I just feel sick to my stomach that it can build up for this long without me ever being told and then I am suddenly liable for £10k. I'm scared I'm going to lose my house. I will ask about a payment plan but I will now have a mortgage, CT, bills, extortionate nursery fees and this backdated £10k to pay for and it's going to put me back into financial strain after just getting rid of my DMP and being back in a good place. If they didn't notice I didn't pay for 7 years, if no one ever picked up on it, I didn't receive basic things like bin collection or even post, I don't see how they can justify putting a young mother trying to look after her kids and get on the property ladder, make a better life right back into debt. It's so shit

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ClarisseMcClellan Tue 15-Jun-21 13:43:55

GreyhoundG1rl

*was never informed I had to pay council tax*
Not the point, but; who on earth did you think was paying it? Didn't you have any bills?

Is it as clear cut as that?

Without knowing the full details it might not be. If a hotel employee lives in the hotel do they pay council tax if the hotel is already paying business rates - I don't know the answer but it's an example I've thought of.

MossRock Tue 15-Jun-21 13:46:01

What a shock. Get some legal advice ASAP and see the CAB.

My friend had similar with an address that had not been properly registered or notified by the developer but had planning permission so something fucked up somewhere. I can’t remember all the ins and outs but she saw someone at the CAB who was incredible and the council dropped it in the end because they had made some of their own failures in admin and procedure. Hopefully this could be the case for you. The postal address and lack of own bins must be key.

The council will try to get payment from you if it is their own mistake so definitely get some advice and don’t admit any liability or set up a payment plan etc until you have seen someone.

HelpMeh Tue 15-Jun-21 13:46:47

Nothing helpful to add, but I'm surprised you qualified for a mortgage if your finances are squeezed to the extent that you can't consider a payment plan?

Work out what you can afford to pay each month and speak to them.

MossRock Tue 15-Jun-21 13:50:27

Sorry I meant to type “The council will try to get payment from you even if it is their own mistake”. They can be ruthless about CT but it doesn’t mean they are always correct.

MissyB1 Tue 15-Jun-21 13:52:04

I’m not so sure that you should have been paying council tax. It sounds like the business you rented from were responsible for bills, if that didn’t include council tax then that should have been specified in your contract. And I would have thought that ultimately the owner of a private property (business or not) is responsible for ensuring the council tax is paid - wether by themselves or by a tenant.
I would seek legal advice on this.

DentonsFringeArnottsWaistcoat Tue 15-Jun-21 13:53:52

If they didn't notice I didn't pay for 7 years, if no one ever picked up on it
Yeah this is the bit I find strange, maybe they were chasing the business for payment? Have you spoken to them as to why it wasn’t included in the other bill payments? And did they get yearly statements of the CT? If so who were they addressed to? Etc

LoudestCat14 Tue 15-Jun-21 13:54:39

In all your time living there, you never saw a Council Tax bill addressed to you, but somehow it was still in your name? You need to speak to whoever controls the accommodation for the business and find out the exact address the CT bill was sent to each year and why you never received a copy of it. The council must've been sending out reminders or even court summons for non-payment so you need to get proof that these were never forwarded on to you.

PracticingPerson Tue 15-Jun-21 13:55:32

flowers

Speak to a solicitor, you may not be liable, and even if you are they may be persuaded to be reasonable. Sorry this mess has happened!

gingerbiscuit19 Tue 15-Jun-21 13:57:08

I would ring citizens advice and not be quick to admit liability. It might be the business were liable and they never paid?

viques Tue 15-Jun-21 13:58:26

If you haven’t had a council tax bill or utility bills for nearly eight years how have you given proof of address for things like bank accounts, mortgage applications, nursery applications, phone accounts, credit cards etc etc?

Starisnotanumber Tue 15-Jun-21 13:58:51

Were you living on your own in the accommodation or with another adult.
If on your own there is usually a reduction of 25%.
What band have they put the accommodation into it should be in the demand
Have they charged interest or late payment fees on the invoice you have received sounds as if council tax was around 1500.00 per year from your descriptions sounds a lot.

FlowerArranger Tue 15-Jun-21 13:59:11

Go through your employment and accommodation contracts with a fine toothcomb.

Take them to the CAB for advice and see if they can help.

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