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Cross! Incompetence at the council...

Discussion in 'Personal' started by anon3946, Aug 17, 2012.

  1. I rented a studio flat for my PGCE year and spent most of the year dealing with the council's inability to record the fact that, as a registered student, I was exempt from paying council tax. I sent three exemption certificates (the last, I hand delivered to be on the safe side). Everyone from the council I have spoken to have confirmed that, as a registered PGCE student, I am, yes, exempt- they just needed the certificate. Provided. Not recorded, can I send it again? Etc. After hand delivering the last one, I recieved another bill; called up, oh yes, sorry, you're exempt, we'll adjust your records.
    I moved out two months ago; temporarily staying with my father and post is redirected to my stepfather's house- which is where I lived until I started my PGCE.
    Today, I picked up my post (I pick it up every week, at least)- and there is a bloody SUMMONS for unpaid council tax!!! Really rather cross after all the hassle I've had- and I don't even live there anymore! It's a simple admin issue- just the same admin issue I've been dealing with all year. You'd think SOMEONE would have managed to get it right in that time. Sadly, they're closed for the weekend now, so I'll have to deal with this (AGAIN) on Monday.
    Stupid question- will this summons be held on record against me in any way?
  2. If it is incorrect then it shouldn't be. However be prepared to keep nagging and fight them. These things can take time and effort to fight.
  3. kibosh

    kibosh Star commenter

    I doubt it. It's a mistake on their part surely. Make sure you keep a record of all correspondence, including telephone conversations (who with, time, date etc). Can you go into the CT office and speak with someone face to face?
    If it's any consolation I have had my so called 'debts' sent to debt collectors before etc. The summon letters were entirely incorrect and due to the fact that I keep tidy books, I could prove it. They back off instantly.

  4. This is what's making me cross. I spent a year trying to sort this out, got told it was sorted and now this. It's the very last thing I need right now.
  5. Sadly not- they're too far away, and I'm moving even further away this weekend. I'm hoping to be able to speak to someone at the uni on Monday too, see if they can send proof of my attendence. Again. *Sigh* The uni will be fed up of dealing with this.
  6. kibosh

    kibosh Star commenter

    It's the very last thing anyone needs. I've had 28 years of this crappola, in it's various forms, the last 6 years as a supply teacher being the most intense (in terms of effort required from me) and the worst in terms of mistakes (from them; local authorities). Remember
    • the debt is NOT real
    • you will get someone (at CT office) to do their job properly
    • take it higher (there is always a food chain, find out who the manager is, and contact them)
    Breathe. I completely understand your frustration.
  7. bumblingbee

    bumblingbee New commenter

    Hi Alliandra,

    I had a similar problem recently. I had actually paid the council tax two months previously but was still pursued for payment and eventually issued with a summons for non-payment.
    Phonecall after phonecall, email after email had no effect. However copying in my local councillor (who happened to be deputy leader of the council) into an email outlining the whole process and the efforts I had made to resolve it sorted it out within days. This after weeks of trying to sort it out.
    Failing that, try copying in your local MP or even a sympathetic reporter on the local paper.
    Good luck!
  8. Gardening Leaves

    Gardening Leaves New commenter

    As well as liaising with the (useless) council, be careful to read the summons carefully and ensure you file your defence within the time limits specified. You just need to tell the court what you have told us and send them copies of the exemption certificate as evidence. Don't assume the council will sort out the error. If you don't respond to the summons within the time limits, the council can apply for a default judgment to be recorded against you. The summons itself would not be on record against you, but a judgment against you would be and cause you credit problems. You could later appeal, of course, but it is all extra hassle you can avoid.
  9. Thank you everyone. I will phone the court/council/uni on Monday and hopefully sort it out that way.
  10. kibosh

    kibosh Star commenter

    Good luck [​IMG]
  11. Papa is saying that he thinks it's because they think I'm still living there- after all, the letter was addressed there, just redirected. So maybe a call to the landlord too. Gah! My new place is council tax included in rent- thank god!

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