Recent statements in this category are shown below:
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.
Statement Not upheld Other 05-Jan-2021
Summary: There was no fault in how the Council processed a refund for overpaid business rates. We have therefore completed our investigation.
Statement Not upheld Other 22-Dec-2020
Summary: Mrs X says the Council acted wrongly in taking enforcement action against her for unpaid council tax. She says she suffered an injustice as she was visited by enforcement officers and charged fees, causing financial hardship. The Council is not at fault.
Statement Upheld Other 10-Dec-2020
Summary: we consider there was fault by the Council when it sought to recover business rates from Mrs A. Part of the debt was too old for the Council to threaten recovery action. Mrs A says this caused her distress. The Council has agreed the remedy we proposed.
Statement Not upheld Other 02-Dec-2020
Summary: Mr X complains that the Council sent his council tax debt to bailiffs when he had already paid. He says this caused stress, distress, and took him time and trouble to resolve. The Ombudsman does not find the Council at fault.
Statement Upheld Other 01-Dec-2020
Summary: Mr X complains that the Council charged him business rates for a business he does not own, delayed resolving the matter, and delayed responding to his Subject Access Request. He says this caused stress, put him under undue pressure, and cost time and trouble. The Ombudsman largely does not find the Council at fault. However, the Ombudsman finds the Council at fault for failing to respond to Mr X's emails within the timeframe it set out. This caused Mr X injustice. The Council has already apologised to Mr X for this. We are satisfied that this apology remedies the injustice caused. The Ombudsman will not investigate the part of Mr X's complaint about the Subject Access Request because it has already been investigated by the Information Commissioner's Office.
Statement Upheld Other 30-Oct-2020
Summary: Mr X complains about the Council's decision that he was not entitled to small business rate relief. The Council is at fault as it did not consider Mr X's utility bills as evidence he was occupying a business unit at the time he submitted the bills. This fault did not cause injustice to Mr X as the Council has now considered the bills and it would not have made a different decision if it had considered the bills earlier. The Council delayed in responding to Mr X's complaint at stage two of its complaints procedure which will have caused frustration to Mr X. The Council apologised to Mr X for the delay in responding to his complaint which is an appropriate and proportionate remedy for the frustration caused to Mr X.
Statement Upheld Other 29-Oct-2020
Summary: The Ombudsman will not investigate Mr X's complaint that the Council's enforcement agents wrongly contacted his mother about a debt she did not owe. This is because we are satisfied with the Council's proposed actions and it is unlikely an investigation would lead to a different outcome.