MR WHIP OFF  Councils breaking Laws collecting council tax?

by Readers Question

13:41 PM, 7th December 2016
About 4 years ago

MR WHIP OFF Councils breaking Laws collecting council tax?

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MR WHIP OFF  Councils breaking Laws collecting council tax?

MR WHIP OFF by Disgruntled Landlordwhippy

Councils flaunting and breaking Statutory Laws collecting council tax

I have copied my letter I am sending to Norwich City council regarding the way they view the landlord’s liability. The letter is un-edited so it shows more than you need, the bit you can skip to is the last part on the 2nd page, you should get the gist. You might see there’s a touch of light humour in the earlier parts.

Whatever the legal boffins amounts us might say, don’t be put off by using some of the words as a challenge you never know, it might help you achieve a small victory with similar claims, from my past experience with Norwich I won’t hold my breath. I expect to pay the bill even though I believe it is wrong. Currently it’s not worth going to an unnecessary cost to challenge this. I have been to court many times for other issues, one thing I have learnt is to not take anything for granted, in my opinion it is far less of a risk challenging a small amount, as it helps to keep things in prospective and out of court or there is likely to be far less costs to pay if you do go to court and lose.

I take them up on two issues.
Firstly:- non occupation and liability.
Secondly:-Discounting one person then passing the charge to another.

The problems are many, the crouch of the matter is, the rules of hierarchy that governs who is liable for the council tax, it basically goes to the tenant in occupation, if they are not in occupation the liability falls to the owner. I make the stand that the tenant whether they occupy or not are legal owners and have legal control for the property until such point the tenancy has officially ended by both parties.
Norwich city council told me they class a tenant in a fixed period liable if they did not occupy the property but not tenants in a periodic tenancy liable instead making the landlord liable. they say their solicitors say the statutory laws I quote are just guides! Ha.

I would like to hear how Tessa and other legal boffins view the points I make, and the whether they are of the same opinion in regards to councils solicitor about them not needing to comply to statutory law’s.

Norwich City Council
City hall
Norwich
NR2 1NH
Complaints and Head of Council Tax
Ref: Mr WHIP OFF
5.12.16
Council Tax Bill raised and closed Date of issue 24.11.16 Property ref: 37610000400006

Your actions are out of order, despite the bill you have raised.

As well as other legal rights, a tenant by law holds legal rights of ownership to the property of their contract, rights which are above the landlords, Laws prevent any landlord from attempting to take back ownership or control of a property while a tenancy is in force.

Until any tenancy has been formally mutually surrendered, or ended by the terms of the agreement be they fixed or periodic, or by legal eviction of the tenant or any other persons in the property, control and ownership does not revert back to the landlord.

The control of the property still remains with the tenants, even if they have moved out it does not change the position of the law. Returning the keys to a landlord still does not end a tenant’s legal rights or obligations of contract until the landlord agrees or conditions are met. Until such a point that the tenancy has clearly mutually ended tenants are legally responsible for the council tax.
On this occasion the leaving tenants last day of contract ended on the 4th September, the new tenants contract overlapped the same day commencing on the 4th September. The property was furnished at the time.

You have raised a bill to me to cover the 3rd. the tenant leaving still had a tenancy in force up to and including the 4th. The new tenancy commenced on the 4th there was a continuation of “tenants owners” at no point did I regain my status as owner.

Even with the information you show on your bill, you state that the last day of the leaving tenant ended on and included the 3rd and the new tenant commenced, on and included the 4th . So you know there was no day in-between tenancies, yet you saw fit to bill me in full knowledge that I was not liable and in full knowledge of what parties were liable. Your adoption of the application of billing is not only wrong, your actions are illegal.

In previous correspondence with the council you have said you choose not to apply a charge to the person liable for the last day, That’s nice of you. It does not does not give you any right to make that charge to anyone else.

This is like an ice-cream man I will call him Mr WHIP OFF, he lets the last customer of the day have an ice-cream for free, hurray lovely ice-cream man. Bear with me!
The next day Mr WHIP OFF opens up for business, scribbles out a bill for the ice-cream he gave away the day before, then gives it the first person that walks close enough for him to give it to. What’s this for? Say the passer-by, it’s for the ice-cream I gave away yesterday, say Mr WHIP OFF, “F-OFF”! rightly say the passer-by, No “WHIPP OFF” say MR WHIP OFF, now pay up or I’ll take you to court.

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This bill has been issued falsely I do not have any liability to council tax on this occasion. If you had followed the ACTs of Parliament statutory laws of procedure as set out, you would have found this out.

I have made you aware that the actions of your billing is contrary to the STATUTORY INSTRUMENTS The Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992 1992 No. 613 PART II Regulation.

Because you ignore your duty to ensure the bills are made out to the correct people, and more to the point you are creating and sending bills to people knowing they are NOT liable, you are in breach of fraud and other serious laws too.
I have written to you several times now, your continued ignorance to comply is wearing very thin, while the bills I have received from you are, as in the case here, are often valued little to nothing, this is not really the issue. It is the fact that you raise any bill, or implied false liability before you have gone through the proper procedures, make you guilty of maladministration, you knowingly generate bills to people without knowing that they are liable. Worst still is that you know they are NOT liable. THIS IS MISUSE OF YOUR OFFICE.

Your actions of billing are without due process of proper enquiry your actions are reckless and time wasting, I have kept records to show my dealings with Norwich City Council and this very matter goes back decades, you cannot claim to be unaware of the duty to follow the laws that have been put in place by parliament, for you to follow to ensure bills are not falsely addressed.

If you come back insisting I am liable; I will pay it, only because of the hassle it will cause me to fight this, but take heed, this will not always be the case. Your actions will be recorded, if the LGO get involved evidence of a much wider maladministration and potentially evidence of breach of serious law such as fraud will involve all the staff who have knowingly been part of the process of actioning bill’s to people that they knew could not be liable.

This Mr WHIP OFF rubbish that you discount a person then charge another person who you clearly know is not liable, is absolutely wrong this needs to be addressed forthwith.

For your future records
• A Tenant is by law is the “Owner” whilst their tenancy is if force, whether they choose to occupy the property or not, the tenant has control of the property whilst their tenancy exists. Any tenants’ legal status as an owner with control supersedes their landlord’s liability of council tax.
• My new AST’s. are written to commence at; and end at; 11am on a Sunday at the beginning and end of each tenancy term. Each tenants are legally the owners up to and from those times. Under Council tax law I do not fall liable for council tax in such cases.
• A council is at liberty to discount a person for the last day of their council tax liability, a council acts illegally if it then makes a charge to another person for the same day, fully aware there could be No liability.
• No landlord has control of a property while an AST tenancy is in existence, be it fixed or periodic, no council has any legal right to claim otherwise.
• Just because a tenant moves out, does not end a tenants ownership or control over the property.
• Any landlord that attempts to take back ownership or control of the property without the tenant’s consent or legal judgement, faces serious criminal charges of illegal eviction and harassment, laws governing this are well established, you should already know this.

Chris


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Comments

Chris Baker

6:21 AM, 16th December 2016
About 4 years ago

If I’ve been dealing with the same Michael Barnes who was charged with Breach of code of conduct by Flax Bourton Parish council? it shows more than a lack of knowledge and/or intelligence to understand his own legal obligations.

Just because someone cannot see someone else’s point, does not mean there isn’t one.

For the record, I do not have a problem with knowing the difference between Statutory or contractual periodic. I have only commented on the terms “fixed” or “Periodic” it is others that jumped to conclusions that I mean something different, which is exactly my point regarding misleading and information.

The CouncilTaxGuy chart is wrong.
The left hand side column is headed “it changed to a Periodic tenancy” (then) the tenant remains liable only while they remain in resident in the property.

If a contract is outside the fixed term it is a periodic. The judges in the case use the term contractual periodic, contractual periodic has been used in this discussion.

If the periodic of an AST is a contractual periodic the Tenant remains liable until the tenancy ends.

The CouncilTaxGuys chart is therefore promoting misleading information, it is confusing at best, I envisage the council Tax staff using the CouncilTaxGuys chart and taking the word Periodic literately, they are likely to consider if a AST is not in its fixed term it will be in a periodic term if they do this it will cause landlords costs and or loss of time to landlords in them either just paying up or having to point out the error of the CouncilTaxGuy information time and time again.

This can so easily be put right.

CouncilTaxGuy change the wording from periodic to Statutory and save this same confusion.

Down but Not Out

Michael Barnes

16:38 PM, 16th December 2016
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Chris Baker" at "16/12/2016 - 06:21":

If you had, then it might, but you haven't so it doesn't.

Clint

18:22 PM, 20th December 2016
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Michael Barnes" at "09/12/2016 - 11:17":

For Those Who Protect Their Deposits With "MyDeposits"

I had previously stated that MyDeposits had no contingency for contractual periodic tenancies and as such, after the fixed term has to be currently protected as a Statutory Periodic Tenancy otherwise, one would risk losing up to 3 times their deposit to the Tenant. The problem still arises as I see it as, if one has a contractual periodic within the Assured Shorthold Tenancy, the deposit is being protected wrongly and open to a new court ruling.

I sent the following email to MyDeposits with names removed:

Dear Sir

Deposit Protection With Contractual Periodic Tenancy Following Fixed Term Tenancy

Having used MyDeposits to protect my deposits ever since Deposit Protection has come into force, I have noticed that there is no allowance for protecting a deposit which has a fixed term and contractual term tenancy. By law if a tenancy starts of as a fixed term tenancy and then a statutory periodic tenancy arises, this implies there are two tenancies where one has to protect the deposit at the start of the fixed term and thereafter protect the deposit once again for the statutory periodic tenancy.

However, there is the instance where the tenancy starts of as a fixed term tenancy and thereafter continues as a contractual periodic tenancy. In this respect there is only one tenancy which has a fixed and periodic tenancy both contractually as one and the same tenancy. MyDeposits does not allow for such a tenancy to be protected where the deposit needs to be protected only once i.e. within the first 30 days of the tenancy which has a built in fixed term and contractual periodic tenancy.

Kind Regards

xxxxxxx

This was the exact reply I got from MyDeposits.

Dear xxxxxxxx,

Thank you for your correspondence.

I would like to apologise as unfortunately our system isn’t designed to deal with contractual periodics.

We treat all periodics the same but the system is only designed to recognise statutory periodic tenancies.

I would have to suggest the only solution at present would be for you to convert the deposit to a statutory periodic tenancy when first protected in order to prevent the deposit becoming automatically unprotected after 30 days at the end of the tenancy.

I have made our management team aware of your request and this will be passed to our information technology team to investigate.

Kind regards

xxxxxxx
Mydeposits

I am glad to say that MyDeposits are looking into the matter.

For privacy purposes names where applicable have been removed from the correspondence

Clint

15:40 PM, 9th February 2017
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Clint " at "14/12/2016 - 13:28":

For those following this post, MyDeposits have informed me that they have now amended their deposit certificates to state "Periodic Tenancy" rather than "Statutory Periodic Tenancy" which should take care of Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreements that have a fixed term followed by a contractual (non-statutory) periodic term. MyDeposits still automatically terminate the deposit certificate one month after the fixed term.

I have explained to MyDeposits that it should not be necessary to terminate the deposit after the fixed term as the tenancy is a single tenancy with a fixed term and contractual periodic tenancy. They came back with words to the effect that the periodic term must be protected again as their scheme rules state on page 13 clause C4.1 or otherwise I should get independent legal advice. Clause C4.1 refers to a statutory periodic tenancies.

I am now in a state of quandary as to if this second deposit protection is acceptable for this type of tenancy or not as it could imply that the tenancy is being protected late after the fixed term of the tenancy.

Any thoughts or expert advice on this would be much appreciated.

I suggest that if anyone has deposit protections with MyDeposits and have any concerns, they should contact MyDeposits and inform us on these posts of any new developments

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