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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 70419
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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Having trouble with bailiffs chasing me for "non payment" of

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Having trouble with bailiffs chasing me for "non payment" of council tax. Amount is in dispute from 2008/09, as house was unoccupied/being renovated and there was plenty of correspondence between me and council. Whilst this was going on, they proceeded to get two liability orders from magistrates court, but not county court. I sent a letter offering full and final settlement in 2010 with a cheque that was cashed, and haven't heard a peep since. They have just in the last six months handed matter over to bailiffs who are now chasing for £1,000 +
Where do I stand?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Are you asking if you are liable?
You seem to accept that there was a liability order that isn't paid?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I do not feel I am liable - I had an ongoing dispute with the council, as the house was empty and being re-furbished, and I felt I was entitled to 25% or 100% council tax discount.They didn't agree and issued me with two liability orders which I disagreed with, yet wasn't given a right of appealMy letter to them from September 2010 was....The period I owned the property falls across two council tax yearsFor the period 6 Aug 08 – 31 Mar 09, a total of 237 days. In this time, the property was gutted, empty and unfurnished and as a result exempt from council tax, for 185 days (exemption class C). Council Tax was thus due for 52 days. The council tax due for a full year was I believe £1,182.63 therefore the total for 52 days should be 1182.63 x 52/365 – a sum of £168.48For the period 1 April 2009 to 10 Mar 2010 there are a total of 345 days. I was granted exemption from 25 June 2009 to 31 December 2009, 183 days, leaving a total of 162 days when there was council tax due on the property. The council tax due for a full year was £1,381.87 therefore the total for 162 days should be 1381.87 x 162/365 – a sum of £613.32As I paid £438.97 on 23 Sep 2009, there is the sum of £174.35 owing (£613.32-£438.97)To close this matter out I will thus pay this £342.83 (£168.48+£174.35) by way of full and final settlement which I will pay by return once I have your agreementEND of letterthen in March 2011
I believe I have paid all the council tax owing on the above account, with the final payment being made on 9 September last year, which was banked in December 2010.Even though I have written a number of letters and made numerous phone calls, I am still awaiting a reply to my requests for a court hearing to be re-arranged, as is my legal right, to let a court decide if there is any money owing.Although I feel I have paid all monies owing, could you kindly either (a) accept that I have paid the amount I have and that there are no further monies to pay, or (b) reschedule a court hearing as per my many requests so that a court can decide the case.
END of letterI have heard nothing since, until three weeks ago, when the bailiffs got in touch!I thought this matter was all done and dusted, as they (a)hadnt replied in a timely manner and (b) banked my cheque folloing my "full and final settlement" offerIs there a time limit on this? Isn't there an obligation for them to reply in a timely manner?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Is there a liability order?
If so, have you paid in full including costs?
Please forget about time barring or, in fact, even whether you have a complaint. Those two issues are all that matters.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
ok thanks - yes there are two liability orders. I haven't paid either, as (a) I couldn't make either date and (b) the matter was in disputeLetter...
Case 430900481126As previously advised by telephone, I cannot make the court date on 16 October and request a transfer to a new date.On that date I wil be speaking at a conference in Singapore. I have only just got confirmation from my travel agent of my flights and attach details of that as proof that I will be in Singapore on 16 October.Kindly reschedule the court hearing to my nearest court – Swindon – and advise me of the new hearing date.END of letterThey ignored my letters, and did not reschedule, leading to more frustration on my partAs I understand it the matters were magistrates rather than county courts, which do not have the necessary clout. I thought they had written the matter off, having not heard from them for four years plus
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
I'm really sorry but you are in difficulty.
Magistrates court orders have more clout than county court ones as there is no need for further enforcement orders.
There is a liability order in place. You have not paid. You are liable. Whatever attempts you have made to negotiate are a non issue. They will have just ignored them because they are entitled to do that.
If you don't pay the bailiffs they will just attend and the cost will be racked up for their fees.
I'm very sorry.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo