16:12 PM, 4th October 2011, About 10 years ago 2
A council is making a bid to bankrupt a landlord who is alleged to owe almost £25,000 in council tax.
Croydon Council in South East London has made a rare move for a local authority to take over a bankruptcy petition against the landlord started by a business partner.
The landlord, Mahendra Shah, of Upper Norwood, London, has a number of convictions relating to poor management of investment property.
A former business associate claimed he owed him £100,000 to stop bankruptcy action going ahead – but the council took over the proceedings when Shah settled the claim by paying part of the cash.
The council has made the application to Croydon County Court after alleging several failed attempts were made to recover the unpaid council tax by executing a warrant to seize goods by distraint to sell to pay the bill.
Shah has told a local paper: “I don’t owe anyone any money. The council has the wrong information.
“They’ve made a mistake. I do not owe them – it’s the tenants which owe the money.
“I am a landlord, I let the properties. If the tenants owe the money it’s their problem, not mine.”
Meanwhile, another landlord has been banned from entering council buildings after claims he had intimidated staff.
Steve Bradbury, 60, has made numerous complaints to Kirklees Council, Huddersfield, for failing to empty his bins and for making slow planning decisions.
The authority offered him £250 and an apology – which he refused – and two chief executives have tried but failed to resolve his complaints.
The ban will be reviewed in six months.
A council spokesman said: “This situation has gone on for many years, and Mr Bradbury’s approach has exacerbated the situation. In the past the council has apologised to Mr Bradbury.
“In ultimately having to take the decision to ban him from council buildings – to allow council officers to do their jobs without spending excessive amounts of time dealing with Mr Bradbury’s regular representations on matters that have previously been considered – we have stressed he has the opportunity to take his complaints to the Local Government Ombudsman, something he has consistently refused to do.”
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