Statement Not upheld Other 27-Jul-2021
Summary: Miss B complains about enforcement agents disposing of items seized from her property for Council Tax debt. She says the Council failed to reimburse her the full value of the items. We discontinued our investigation into Miss B's complaint because we are satisfied with the Council's proposed actions.
Statement Not upheld Other 29-Jun-2021
Summary: Mr X complains the Council refused to decide on his charity's applications for mandatory charitable rate relief which he submitted in November 2019 and August 2020. We have no jurisdiction to consider the complaint about the application submitted in November 2019. We find no fault with the Council's actions in relation to the August 2020 application.
Statement Upheld Other 03-Jun-2021
Summary: The Ombudsman finds fault with the Council for how it handled the decision to take continuing enforcement action against the complainant for unpaid Council Tax, and for the delay in communicating with the complainant about this. This caused the complainant and her family distress. The Council has agreed to pay the complainant a financial remedy and carry out a service review.
Statement Upheld Other 30-Apr-2021
Summary: Mr B complained the Council wrongly set up a business rates account for an industrial unit that his business was not occupying. We find the Council was not at fault for setting up the business rates account. However, it was at fault for its communication about whether to put enforcement action on hold. It apologised for this and confirmed it had reminded officers to provide clear instructions to customers. This is a suitable remedy for the injustice caused by fault.
Statement Upheld Other 09-Apr-2021
Summary: Mr X complained the Council gave incorrect advice about how his pension would affect his benefits. This resulted in him owing money to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs. The Council accepted fault and agreed to offer Mr X a remedy.
Statement Upheld Other 12-Mar-2021
Summary: The Council was at fault due to its bailiffs overcharging Miss V more than she was liable for in council tax arrears. This caused Miss V an injustice, but the Ombudsman is satisfied with the actions of the Council and bailiffs in remedying this.
Statement Upheld Other 24-Feb-2021
Summary: Mr X complained about the Council's decision to revoke his company's small business rate relief. The Ombudsman found the Council was at fault and it agreed to provide a remedy.
Statement Upheld Other 10-Feb-2021
Summary: Mr C complained that he arranged to clear his council tax debt but despite this, his case was passed on to the enforcement stage. He also complained of threatening behaviour by the enforcement agent and his vulnerability was not considered. We find fault because the Council's enforcement agent failed to act on Mr C's claim of vulnerability. However, this did not cause him a significant injustice. There is further fault as the enforcement agent failed to respond to Mr C's email and it incorrectly increased the amount he owed. The enforcement agent apologised to Mr C and corrected his account. The Council has also now waived the outstanding enforcement fees. This is a suitable remedy.
Statement Upheld Other 29-Jan-2021
Summary: Miss X complained the Council should not be pursuing her for business rates debts that relate to her company. We found the liability for business rates was outside our jurisdiction. We found no fault in another area of Miss X's complaint. The Council did delay its response to Miss X's complaint but its apology was a reasonable remedy for this.
Statement Upheld Other 25-Jan-2021
Summary: Mrs C complained an enforcement company, acting on behalf of the Council, charged her for a visit to her property it did not make. Mrs C felt harassed by the enforcement company and found the messages it sent her threatening. We found fault with the Council causing injustice. On the balance of probabilities, the enforcement company charged Mrs C an enforcement fee for a visit it did not make and sent her misleading messages. The Council has agreed to apologise to Mrs C, make a payment for distress and review how it monitors the enforcement companies it uses.