Recent statements in this category are shown below:
Statement Not upheld Council tax support 20-Jun-2019
Summary: Mr X complains the Council misled him about making a council tax reduction claim. As a result, he says the Council will not backdate his claim and he now has significant council tax to pay. The Ombudsman's has not found fault by the Council.
Statement Upheld Council tax support 10-Apr-2019
Summary: Mr and Mrs X complain the Council made an error when calculating the council tax reduction they should have. There was fault by the Council. It agrees to review its policies and consider whether to grant any discretionary council tax relief. It also agrees to pay Mr and Mrs X £200 in respect of the time and trouble they spent complaining.
Statement Not upheld Council tax support 09-Apr-2019
Summary: Mr X complained the Council ignored his claim for council tax support and as a result he has been overcharged. The Council was not at fault.
Statement Not upheld Council tax support 19-Mar-2019
Summary: Mr X complains he was misled by a Council officer which resulted in failing to apply for benefit he believed he was entitled to. He also complains the Council failed to adhere to agreements about an instalment plan and used bailiffs unnecessarily. The Ombudsman will not investigate the first part of Mr X's complaint as the events happened too long ago and it is unlikely that it could make a fair finding of fault causing injustice. The Council is not at fault.
Statement Upheld Council tax support 20-Feb-2019
Summary: Miss X complains about the way the Council has dealt with her request for council tax reduction, and how the Council handled her complaint. She says this caused frustration, stress and anxiety, and cost her time and trouble. The Ombudsman finds fault with the Council for sending an incorrect bill, for not proactively offering the e-billing service, and for the way it handled her complaint. The Council will write off Miss X's outstanding debt and make a payment of £100 to remedy the injustice caused by the faults. The Council will also apologise to Miss X and undertake training with staff so that e-billing is offered to customers in the first instance.
Statement Upheld Council tax support 25-Jan-2019
Summary: Mr X and Ms Y complain the Council has failed to deal with their request for council tax relief. They also complain about the way the Council handled their complaint about this matter. The Ombudsman has found the Council was at fault for giving unclear and conflicting advice about its Section 13A application process, and for delaying unnecessarily when dealing with the couple's application. We have also found it was at fault for the way it handled their complaint about these matters. To remedy these faults, it has informed the couple of its decision and offered them a payment to recognise the distress they were caused and the time and trouble they incurred in making their complaint. It has also agreed to carry out some service improvement recommendations to prevent the faults from reoccurring.
Statement Upheld Council tax support 07-Jan-2019
Summary: The Ombudsman considers it fault that the Council has no clear policy for how it will decide the appropriateness of recovery, in cases of alleged official error in Council Tax Reduction decisions. The evidence indicates that this has caused an injustice in this case. However, there is no evidence of fault by the Council in how it set the rate of recovery.
Statement Upheld Council tax support 10-Dec-2018
Summary: The Ombudsman will not investigate this complaint about council tax and council tax support. This is because the Council has already provided a fair remedy and there is not enough outstanding injustice to require an investigation.
Statement Upheld Council tax support 04-Dec-2018
Summary: Ms B complains that the Council's poor management of her housing benefit and council tax support resulted in overpayments which it recouped by deductions from her benefit causing her financial hardship. The Ombudsman finds the Council made repeated errors in calculating Ms B's claims because it failed to consider information she had previously provided concerning her weekly pay and childcare costs. Because of this Ms B's benefit payments were continually changing. This caused her a great deal of stress. She was constantly worried about whether she would have enough income to pay her rent. She was also put to considerable time and trouble in having to repeat information she had already provided and was forced to appeal and complain several times.
Statement Upheld Council tax support 12-Nov-2018
Summary: The Council failed to use its discretionary powers to consider whether to hold Miss D liable after its late discovery of a miscalculation in her council tax reduction entitlement. In doing so the Council denied Miss D the right of appeal to the Valuation Tribunal. The Council accepts this and has agreed to refund payment. We also recommend it apologises and pays Miss D £250 for the embarrassment of having to borrow money from family and friends to pay off the debt and for exacerbating her existing mental health condition.