Statement Upheld Other 18-Mar-2022
Summary: Mr X complained the Council incorrectly applied a retail discount to his company's business rates account. The Council was at fault. It incorrectly applied the discount on the account, then billed Mr X's company without proper communication and then withdrew an offer to cancel some of the debt after Mr X had made a substantial payment. The Council has agreed it will pay Mr X £300 to acknowledge the distress and frustration this caused him.
Statement Not upheld Other 10-Mar-2022
Summary: Mr X complains the Council unreasonably charged him for court costs and enforcement agent fees for collecting business rates when it sent all relevant information to the wrong address. We found fault as the Council's enforcement agents did not serve Mr X with a new Notice of Enforcement to his current address. This caused Mr X an injustice as he has paid avoidable enforcement fees. We have recommended a suitable remedy and so are minded to complete our investigation.
Statement Not upheld Other 05-Jan-2022
Summary: Miss X complained about the Council's decision to bill her for empty business rates. We discontinued our investigation as the courts are best placed to determine disputes about liability to pay business rates.
Statement Upheld Other 09-Dec-2021
Summary: Mr X complained the Council made a refund of business rates on a rented unit to the landlord even though Mr X is the registered rate payer. The Council acknowledges it should have contacted Mr X before paying the refund to the landlord's bank account even though this was the account from which the business rates were paid. The Council has offered to now make the payment to Mr X.
Statement Upheld Other 06-Sep-2021
Summary: Mr X complained about the Council's failure to properly assess his claims for small business rates relief and issue timely and accurate business rates bills. We found fault by the Council in its handling of Mr X's liability for business rates, which led to backdated bills of about £14,000. What happened caused Mr X avoidable shock and distress for which the Council agreed to apologise and provide financial redress. The Council also agreed to arrange an affordable payment plan with Mr X for the outstanding business rates.
Statement Not upheld Other 19-Aug-2021
Summary: Mr X complained about the Council's refusal to pay his company a grant and its decision to bill the company for business rates. We found no fault in how the Council reached its grant and billing decisions.
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.