Couple still getting demands months after paying their bill

A LIVERSEDGE couple claim their lives are being made a misery by council tax demands – 16 months after they settled their bill.

The couple, who do not want to be named, paid £1,100 owed on their former home in May last year after yobs terrorised them into moving out.

They could not afford to pay council tax on two houses at the same time, so arranged through a solicitor to pay what was owed on the first property when it had been sold.

Kirklees Council agreed to this, but the couple were then repeatedly sent warning letters about their ‘arrears’.

The couple claim council officials, some of whom denied knowing of the written agreement, said the demands were automatically generated by a computer.

Their former home eventually sold at the end of 2010, with a solicitor settling the arrears on the couple’s behalf from the proceeds.

A year later, in May 2012, the couple received a letter from Kirklees stating they owed a further £202 in council tax on their old home.

The retired firefighter, 53, and NHS worker, 52, have been in dispute with Kirklees ever since and claim it is making their lives a misery all over again.

“It looks like the same computer system that kept sending all those letters out is at fault again,” the man said.

“If Kirklees was a private business they’d go bust. 

“If a plumber did some work and then came back a year later saying he’d undercharged me, I’d laugh him off my driveway.

“We’ve gone through the whole complaints procedure and got nowhere. Kirklees isn’t fit for purpose. 

“I wouldn’t pay them in washers.”

A council spokeswoman said the problem could stem from the couple’s solicitor, who may not have paid the correct amount from the house sale proceeds.

She added: “The correct figure for the arrears outstanding was given to the complainants’ agent on completion of the sale. Unfortunately, the correct amount has not been paid. 

“The council is legally obliged to recover all council tax debts outstanding. Therefore, that sum cannot be written off.  

“We have written to the complainant with the findings of our investigation. 

“The matter can be taken to the Local Government Ombudsman if he is still unhappy with the council’s response.”

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