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property mongrel
23-03-2010, 09:43 AM
i hope to be able to contribute and help others when i can, but for now i need some help please. apologies if this has been covered somewhere but my search did not find it.

Very briefly, a property was repossessed in September 09. Purchased by me November 09. Jan 2010 previous owners backdate a claim that property unoccupied from August 09 to avoid demands for unpaid Council Tax so council retrospectively apply 6 months exemption as property supposedly unoccupied. I kept the council informed about the refurbishment, wrote to them, visited them to explain, filled in an exemption application form and they demand various sums from me. I have pointed out that the Council website and the GOV website all indicate that the property is exempt for 6 months following repossession, a separate ground from the unoccupied exemption which lasts only for 6 months regardless of changes in ownership.

They do not answer any questions as to why they are demanding money apparently in contravention of the website information, they issue computer generated council tax demand letters to satisfy their "response service time standards".

Two CAB offices confirm my view on this, but does anyone here have a similar experience? I don’t have a problem paying, and will pay while i dispute this to comply with the GOV website guidelines, if I am wrong, but the council do not “reply” or “answer” letters although they do “respond” with a computer generated script.

thank you

pm

havensRus
23-03-2010, 14:33 PM
My suggestions as follows:

1. Call the council tax office, and ask why they are sending you these demands when the property should be exempt. Take and note the name of the person you speak to/time of call/response given.

2. If you are not satisfied with the response, then write to the Head of Benefits/Revenues (usually council tax comes that), and also make a formal complaint through the customer service complaints procedure.

You are bound to get a response and get some proper dialogue going.

Good luck

property mongrel
23-03-2010, 20:10 PM
havensRus - thank you for your reply. i have done all that you suggest. including making a stage 1 complaint in writing with a full outline of all the story and all efforts i have made to discuss the matter with the council over nearly 3 months. all i get is computer generated letters to comply with their response times and another demand.

i have asked for an explanation about their position several times. they never reply, they respond with a CGL. i told them that if i am wrong i will pay.

the gov website says you have to pay while yopu appeal so i have done that.

will update with a result when i get one for the benefit of others.

pm