I’d like an opinion on how to proceed please with brief details as follows:
I rent out a property in Swindon, where following the departure of the tenants, the property stood empty for a month. I advised Swindon Borough Council of this in May by telephone and was advised that the Council Tax Account was “Closed”. I therefore thought nothing more about it.
In November, the new tenants (though in residence since end-June) handed me correspondence that was addressed to my company but addressed to the rental property. That correspondence comprised:
1. A letter demanding overdue payment of Council Tax.
2. A Court Summons for non-payment of Council Tax.
3. A Liability Order for Council Tax due plus award of Costs.
Having then spoken/written to Swindon Borough Council and explaining the situation plus emphasizing the fact that they had erroneously sent all correspondence to the wrong address, Swindon Borough Council simply re-issued the Liability Notice to my correct address.
I am obviously aggrieved that I can be summoned and ‘found guilty’ without my knowledge and that Swindon Borough Council still insist on including the Court Costs on an issue that I believe is due to their own ineptitude. They were provided with a correct address in May, yet did not update their records to reflect the content of my telephone call.
For expediency, I would pay the amount required on the Liability Order because I am being threatened with Bailiff action. However, do I have a case to take Swindon Borough Council to court (or Small Claims) to recover the court costs, which I believe to have been inappropriately imposed?
Interested to hear constructive views, thank you.