T (student) owes no C/Tax but Council bailiffs entered

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  • T (student) owes no C/Tax but Council bailiffs entered

    My tenant called me saying that a baliff had forced their way in to my property and was being threatening and abusive and wouldn't leave unless they had recovered outstanding C/T owed to Liverpool City Council and of course their extortionate fees.

    Tenant paid the fees and I countacted the Council to inform them that no C/T was owing as the tenant was a student and I had forwarded the Exemption forms to them at the start of term in Sept.

    LCC of course denied they had ever received the said forms even though I was speaking to them at the same time as I was faxing the forms.

    They first refused to call of the baliffs saying that the company was a private company and nothing to do with them, however, when I threatened legal action against them they swiftly backtracked.

    Needless to say the baliffs have now got several hundred pounds of my tenants money (which was owed to me as rent) and LCC have said that they cannot be held responsible for the baliffs actions.

    I have written to my MP about these legalised extortion with menaces that the Council is using to threaten vulnerable people but my tenant (and me) are now out of pocket.

  • #2
    Your tenant should visit his local CAB or law centre to seek legal help to recover the fees from the Bailiff firm who have executed the court order against the wrong person.

    I believe all Bailliffs involved in enfocing court orders are licensed (or "certified") but I can't remember the enabling legislation off the top of my head (consumer protection act?). Your tenant should telephone the regulator and explain the situation.

    Does your T have a receipt from the bailliffs? This will be vital in any action against them and the council.

    As to your T's remedies:

    + Trespass against the bailliff
    + Tort action of "trouver" against the bailliff in respect of moneys misappropriated from T
    + Harrassment (both criminal and civil under Protection from Harrassment Act 1997)
    + Negligence against the bailliff firm and council (the latter may well be liable vicariously)

    I would also go to the police and state a burglary has taken place.

    Also you should consider contacting a local or national paper to name and shame both the council and bailliff. It is election time, and the council will be very eager to avoid bad press.

    There would be some poetic justice if a court order sought by T were executed by one set of bailliffs against another.

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    • #3
      Didn't the tenant receive a summons etc before the bailiffs showed up?

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      • #4
        I understood that baliffs were not allowed to force their way into a property and can only enter if invited...am I wrong?
        Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

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        • #5
          Originally posted by westminster View Post
          Didn't the tenant receive a summons etc before the bailiffs showed up?
          No, (I think) because T was the wrong person!

          Presumably, the correct subject of the court order against whom it was made did receive a summons.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by islandgirl View Post
            I understood that baliffs were not allowed to force their way into a property and can only enter if invited...am I wrong?
            Island girl you are correct.

            Further more, it is a common law principle that bailliffs enter the wrong premises at their peril for being sued for trespass and conversion.

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            • #7
              Bailiffs couldn't care less whether they get the right person. When we bought and moved into a repossessed house, the bailiffs came round one afternoon when I was on my way out to work. The bailiff wouldn't believe I wasn't the debtor (we're about the same age and female), it took me showing him bank statements, solicitors letters and my recent marriage certificate before he left and I was late for work. He came back again a few months ago to repossess our kitchen, it was the same man and I had to go through proving who I was again. He was deadly serious about taking our kitchen saying it wasn't paid for, therefore couldn't be sold with the house. I was in tears with the stress if it all. His 'boys' were there and ready to remove it! When he finally accepted who I was, he then said he was the one who had repossessed the house and described our upstairs bathroom and how he had ripped it out and left a 'bloody awful mess'. He knew this, had met the debtor at this time and still came and harassed me? All I could do was tell him to get out, which, fortunately he did. I was left a shaking mess on the floor and miscarried my pregnancy shortly afterwards. I complained to the company and the council, however they weren't bothered, didn't even apologise, and at the time I wasn't in any state to pursue the matter. I wish I had, they make me so angry!

              Pursue these professional bullies as best you can, pp's have made some excellent suggestions, they shouldn't get away with this bad practice.

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              • #8
                remyrobson: if it was less than six years ago, consider pursuing it now.
                JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

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                • #9
                  Your tenant should have phoned the police immediately (999) if someone was trying to force their way into his/her house. No difference if they are a bailiff or a common criminal.

                  Why did the tenant pay them several hundred pounds though, if it was nothing to do with them?

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                  • #10
                    Jeffrey, where would I start in pursuing them? Would it be a criminal matter and how likely is it they would be prosecuted? It's pretty much my word against theirs. The only thing that may be relevant is my phone bill in proving I contacted them, and the incident was briefly mentioned in my medical notes as 'a traumatic experience on (date)'.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by remyrobson View Post
                      Jeffrey, where would I start in pursuing them? Would it be a criminal matter and how likely is it they would be prosecuted? It's pretty much my word against theirs. The only thing that may be relevant is my phone bill in proving I contacted them, and the incident was briefly mentioned in my medical notes as 'a traumatic experience on (date)'.
                      How long ago? This is critical.
                      JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                      1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                      2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                      3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                      4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by islandgirl View Post
                        I understood that baliffs were not allowed to force their way into a property and can only enter if invited.
                        Correct. I think they can enter through an open door or window but cannot use force, nor do you have to let them in (though they'll probably say you do).

                        I learnt this when I was staying at a friend's house (she was abroad) and let in a bailiff (due to friend's accumulated parking tickets). He was actually very nice (luckily) and told me I shouldn't have let him in, and not to do it again.

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                        • #13
                          Jeffrey - It was last August

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by remyrobson View Post
                            Jeffrey - It was last August
                            Good (sort-of). Given your traumatic experience, take advice asap from a litigation specialist solicitor.
                            JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                            1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                            2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                            3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                            4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                            Comment

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