Possibly the most common dispute which arises in Council Tax is that of mail being sent to an, allegedly, wrong address.
Providing that notice has been sent to the last known address that the local authority hold (or email address for electronic communications) the notices will usually have been deemed to have been correctly served.
Postage of notices to an address
All Council Tax notices are required to be sent to a person’s last known address (Section 233 of the Local Government Act 1972). The local authority is under no requirement to attempt to locate any other forwarding address to which post can be sent.
Court Summons are covered under Regulation 35 of the Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992 . This allows that they be either hand delivered, left at a usual or last known place of residence, posted to a usual or last known place of residence or left/posted to another address which has been given for the purpose of receiving notices.
Since 05 November 2003 The Council Tax and Non-Domestic Rating (Electronic Communications) (England) Order 2003 has allowed all notifications prior to a Court Summons to be issued electronically. This must have been agreed in advance with the liable person.
Local Government Ombudsman
The Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) often looks in to complaints regarding the address used by a local authority however in many cases they are unable to rule in the claimants favour.
In case 16000142 the dispute was that the local authority had sent notices to the property and not the owners’ address. The LGO found that the local authority had acted correctly by using the address of the property as they could not locate an alternative address.
In case 15019722 the dispute was that the local authority had sent notices direct to the property. The previous tenant had forgotten to tell them he had moved and so he had not received the notices. The LGO found that the local authority had acted correctly by using the last known address.
Advice & Assistance from LGFA92
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This article is solely the view of LGFA92, the Council Tax experts, based on our interpretation of legislation. Your local authority is free to dispute this view. A binding decision may require the intervention of a valuation tribunal.