Recent statements in this category are shown below:
Statement Upheld Other 01-Oct-2019
Summary: The complainant received demands for business rates owed by her company and the previous occupant of her business premises. In confusion the complainant mistakenly paid the demand for the previous occupant's business rates. Quickly realising her mistake, the complainant asked the Council to refund her payment. The complainant says the Council took too long to refund the payment causing inconvenience compounded by paying the refund in two parts. The complainant wants the Council to pay interest on the refund and her solicitor's costs. The Council says it acted properly in refunding the payment and refused to pay interest or the solicitors' costs. The Ombudsman finds the Council at fault in handling the refund.
Statement Not upheld Other 18-Sep-2019
Summary: Mrs X complains the Council did not properly consider information she said proved she had a tenant occupying her business premises. She said this meant she was unfairly billed for business rates. She feels the Council racially discriminated against her. The Ombudsman does not find the Council at fault.
Statement Upheld Other 17-Sep-2019
Summary: Mr X complained about the Council's handling of his Council tax arrears. The Council was at fault. It failed to tell the bailiffs to put his account on hold while it investigated errors Mr X brought to its attention. This meant the bailiffs carried out an enforcement visit before the Council finished investigating the errors. As a result, Mr X incurred an avoidable enforcement fee. The Council agreed to deduct the enforcement fee from Mr X's outstanding arrears and issues him with a new bill. The Council also agreed to pay Mr X £100 to acknowledge the frustration and time and trouble he experienced pursuing his complaint.
Statement Not upheld Other 06-Aug-2019
Summary: There was no fault in how the Council handled business rates issues affecting a company.
Statement Upheld Other 23-Jul-2019
Summary: Mr X complains about delay by the Council in notifying his company of a business rates liability. The Ombudsman will not investigate this complaint because any dispute is for the courts.
Statement Upheld Other 04-Jul-2019
Summary: Miss X complains the Council took recovery action which resulted in her car being immobilised for a council tax debt she had already paid. The Council told Miss X the balance on her council tax account was nil but did not say there was still a warrant with the enforcement agents and that further action could be taken. Miss X incurred further costs when her car was clamped which she could have avoided if the Council had explained the situation fully. A suitable remedy for the injustice caused to Miss X is agreed.
Statement Upheld Other 24-Jun-2019
Summary: The Council wrongly changed Council Tax liability to Mr X's company. It wrongly took enforcement action against Mr X and his company for Business Rates. Mr X incurred costs providing evidence to the Council. The Council has poor records and did not give the Ombudsman information we asked for. The Council should apologise to Mr X and pay him £1,080 for time, trouble, distress and his expenses.
Statement Upheld Other 19-Jun-2019
Summary: Mrs X has complained about the actions of an enforcement agent that visited her home to recover a debt owed by her son. There is some evidence of fault by the Council.
Statement Not upheld Other 29-May-2019
Summary: Mr C says the Council wrongly used enforcement agents to pursue council tax arrears, as he is a vulnerable debtor. The Council has correctly considered whether it is appropriate to use enforcement agents and has decided it is. The council tax debt is rightly due, and the Council has a duty to recover it. The Council has offered Mr C assistance by entering payment arrangements, referring him for independent debt advice, and sending him application forms for financial assistance. There is no fault by the Council.
Statement Upheld Other 14-May-2019
Summary: Mr Y complains that an administrative error by the Council meant that his Council Tax case was wrongly passed to enforcement agents, who made two unnecessary visits to his previous address. Mr Y says this caused embarrassment and distress. The Ombudsman upholds the complaint. The Council will offset £150 against Mr Y's debt for the avoidable distress that its actions caused.