Council Tax Arrears

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patbhoy | 12:51 Mon 22nd Dec 2008 | Law
23 Answers
I have received a threatening letter from a debt collection agency over council tax arrears for a property I sold back in August 1995.
I contacted the local authority in the area where the property was and yes i do owe the money but I asked them why I had not been contacted regarding this by themselves and that the matter was passed on to the debt collecting agency.
They told me that the only forwarding address that they had was for the solicitor who carried out the conveyancing of my purchase and sale and that they had passed details of the arrears to him in the assumption that he would in turn pass them on to myself.
Something he obviously failed to do, do i have any course of redress against the afore mentioned solicitor and after 13.5yrs am I still liable to pay the arrears.
(Scots Law Please)


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I would have throught that you and you alone were responsible for payment of your council tax until the day your property exchanged. All you had to do was contact the council for an up to date final amount of council tax and let them have a forwarding address. The arrears are your responsibility, I would pay them up and stop looking for others to blame.
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Constructive answers only please, answers like that of eyeshade are simply a waste of their time and mine....
Why don't you tell us what to say then so you can hear what you want......!!!
You do not need to pay anything. In fact you should receive significant compensation from the council and its debt collectors for the distress caused by this unreasonable demand for money and for the damage to your reputation. You should also be able to claim massive compensation from the solicitor and have him struck off.
Is that the answer you were seeking?
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It appears that some on here have a problem reading or understanding.
Go away and annoy someone else as thats obviously the reason why you are here.
Something like that I think.
I'm happy to annoy you.....

Ask a serious question............
How nice ummmm. Patbhoy, why not contact Citizens Advice and see what they have to say? My guess is that you might have to pay the arrears. Good luck.
you remain liable for the council tax. The council have made reasonable efforts to contact you (through the solicitor).
What sort of redress were you hoping to bring against the solicitor? you haven't lost anything because it was a debt you owed anyway, so it's not like you could expect money from them, as you havent suffered any mnetary loss. I guess that you could say to the solicitor "you should have passed the bill on to me" and he could say "sorry i didn't" but i cant see where that will get you.
TBH it is NOT the solicitors job to deal with anything other than your conveyancing, as this is what you paid him for, not to redeliver your stry mail
And I do hope you are not so rude to the Citizens' Advice advisor as you have been here - you have received good and proper advice.

How do you know the solicitor didn't forward it to you? Mail can and does get lost.

You have to pay, it's your debt.
Dont push the solicitor as they could add extra charges. Pay small amount to Council & 'tie up' debt collectors who can't act till a case has been heard in court.
C'mon daisy....what does he expect....! He's rude.
Have a look at 806 here: t/cre27.pdf

How did the DC find you if they didn't have ur address to send original bill?
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I'm not disputing the fact that I am due and will pay the arrears its the fact that I am being threatened by a debt collecting agency for a debt I new nothing about and was incurred 13yrs 5mths ago.
There are far to many on here who think it fun to attack people asking a serious question and ruining the site and discouraging serious users from posting questions.
So if you have nothing constructive to say regarding the question please refrain from adding your inane remarks, its not what the site is about.
Doesn't the statute barred rule come into effect where you cannot be pursued for a debt if 6 years have pased since you were last notified and/or acknowledged it?
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Thanks johnny at last someone sensible at last, searching on the net I've found out about the "Prescription & Limitations" act Scotland 1973 which states that if there has been no pursuit of the debt for a period of 5yrs then the debt becomes time barred.
So thanks for your help Johnny at to all the other wasters have a happy xmas NOT...
I have some sympathy for patbhoy as the solicitor should have ensured that all debts accruing from ownership of the property were discharged before he released the balance of the sale proceeds. And I think patbhoy was entitled to believe that.
However, I doubt if it is worth pursuing the solicitor.
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Thanks sandmaster, i thought it was the duty of the solicitor to ensure that the property was sold with now outstanding debts, but also think its very poor service on the solicitors part that he never forwarded notification of the debt after the district council contacted him.
however "time barred" as far as i am aware dosent mean that they cant chase you for the debt or that the debt disappears, it just means they cant give you a ccj for it. i also have the feeling that government debts do not become statute barred in the same way as other debts. In England, if you fail to inform them of a new adress, "statute barred" dosent work.
you have have a lot of different advice on this post, and of course you want to believe the advice that says you don't owe it, or that you can get out of it in some way, but it might be better to take legal advice, or CAB for a definitive answer
Bednobs is absolutely right - if you fail to notify the company of your new address, it cannot ever be statute barred.

However, in fact The Limitation Act 1980 does NOT apply to council tax.
For ordinary debt, a debtor cannot go to prison whereas council tax debtors can be given a prison sentence.

Council tax is very different to the usual debtor/creditor rules.

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