Recent statements in this category are shown below:
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.
Statement Not upheld Other 10-May-2019
Summary: I have stopped investigating Mrs X's complaint that the Council gave her incorrect benefits advice which meant she could not claim child tax credit. This is because the Council's advice has not caused Mrs X an injustice and she can ask for reconsideration of her child tax credit claim.
Statement Upheld Other 08-May-2019
Summary: The Ombudsman will not investigate this complaint that the Council failed to adequately respond to the complainant's enquiries about his liability for business rates. This is because there is insufficient evidence of fault in the advice provided by the Council, and the Council has taken satisfactory action to address the delay in responding to the associated complaint.
Statement Not upheld Other 01-May-2019
Summary: There was no significant fault in how the Council handled payments to a Business Improvement District levy account. For this reason, the Ombudsman has completed his investigation.
Statement Upheld Other 15-Apr-2019
Summary: Miss B says the Council delayed processing her discretionary housing payment applications and failed to award an amount to cover her full rent. There is no fault in how the Council calculated how much to provide as a discretionary housing payment. The Council delayed processing some of Miss B's applications which led to her going to time and trouble to pursue her complaint and caused her stress due to rent arrears. An apology and payment to Miss B is satisfactory remedy for the injustice caused.
Statement Upheld Other 11-Apr-2019
Summary: The complainant says the Council has refused to investigate her complaint about its enforcement agent's refusal to reach an instalment arrangement. The Ombudsman finds the Council at fault. The enforcement agents the Council uses act on its behalf and the Council should investigate complaints made about them. The Council has agreed to apologise, investigate her complaint and review its procedures.