Scottish and English debt laws are different, so if you are a Scottish resident and have questions on debt, then this is the place to post.

Moderators: TalbotWoods, JaneClack

By Christine25
#317663 Hi there my mum passed away in aug 2010 we stayed in a council house but she owned a flat that no one stayed in for years I later found out that council tax hadn't been payed on this flat since 1999 till 2010 when she died this bill is now sitting at 14 grand my mother new nothing of this debt as she thot my step father was paying it but he wasn't I was my mothers next of kin and now the council tax want the money I'm I responsible for this and why was it aloud to go on this long without it being payed ?? I have been trying to fight this for the last too years but seem to be getting no where at all I was 19 wen my mum died and 20 when my stepfather past away too I'm now 21 and really sick off fighting my way through life I just want to get this debt settled so I can move on I sent the council tax electricity bill for the flat showing 0 usage but they said thats not enough evidence they want removed receipts showing the flat was empty which I don't have since i was only a kid the last time I was ever in the flat any help would be helpful
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By TalbotWoods
#317673 Just looking at this a couple of immediate thoughts come to mind:

Reg 34(3) Council Tax (Administration & Enforcement) Regs 1992. The local authority may not apply for a liability order after 'the period of six years beginning with the day is becomes due'. Therefore any amount due prior to the day they first notified you cannot be pursued through the courts. Ergo for that they can go get lost so that now reduces the period to 2005 - 2011 UNLESS liability orders already exist.

I cannot understand why they have not applied or and obtained liability orders for the previous years, and why they have not handed these to sheriffs office, which is the normal actions.

IF liability orders exist, then the fact it was empty will only exempt for 6 months at full rate, then they will treat it as a second home, and it will only attract a 10% discount. So thsi would be legally due.

Have you sought advice from a CAB or Law Center over this?
By Christine25
#317683 See I did have a lawyer but to be honest he was a bit useless with this he was more interested in just getting the house into my name . Today I phoned the council tax myself rather than via the lawyer because I just want to get this sorted out I asked if I was to pay if off would I get any discount for paying in full they said no I asked can I pay it up the said no its like hitting a brick wall time and time again but they did say its been with sheriff officers since 2001 I've never seen a letter from them at all ok 2001-2010 I wouldn't have known a thing abt this but from 2010 till now surely I would have heard something from them ? So now im just trying to build a case I have all the paperwork the lawyer had plus electcity bills showing 0 usage on the flat and proving my mother stayed elsewhere from 2006-2010 before that she stayed with my grand mother (her mum) which is hard to prove I know but I just don't know why it was allowed to go on as long as it did a mean owing that amount of money surely they shouldn't have allowed this ? but thanks I will check out the liability order :)
By Christine25
#317693 Hi there I think ur right I looked that up they can't claim me for more than 6 years after being due and I don't think I'm liable as it wasn't my debt to begin with will get a better lawyer and see someone who knows what there doing . as I think that's why there not being chasing me for this money . Thanks will let you know how I get on fingers crossed :)
By wdm2
#317753 The debt isn't yours! It's a claim on your Mum's estate. There's no question of you being responsible for this.

You do have an interest however since whatever sum is due may be paid by selling off the property to cover it.

Tim's advice is good. You may also want to complain about the council's failure to act for so long. You may have a complaint to the public service ombudsman once you have exhausted the council's own procedure.