Bailiffs and Council Tax

Council Tax Arrears and Dealing With Bailiffs

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Advice On Bailiffs and Council Tax

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Bailiffs and Council Tax

Unfortunately there are many of us who get behind with our bills. We may get laid off at our job or get sick and not be able to work as things do not always go well in our lives. One of the bills it is easy to get behind with is our council tax. Unfortunately this is not a debt that it is advisable to get behind with because failure to pay this tax could lead to bailiffs coming to your house, which is not something anyone wants. If you are having trouble with bailiffs and council tax you do have some rights which we will try to explain for you here.

Bailiffs – What Are Your Rights?

Firstly and most importantly, bailiffs do not have the right to break into your home. He cannot enter your home to take your possessions without being allowed in by you. If you make the mistake of letting him in one time he can then enter any time he wants, so it is important that you never let him in your home. It does not matter what his excuse is. Even if he asks to use the bathroom you must refuse him, otherwise he can come back at any time and enter your home.

As long as you do not let a bailiff into your home he cannot come in and take your property. When you are dealing with bailiffs and council tax you have to be careful who you open the door to. Bailiffs may attempt to push past you to enter your home rather than wait for an invitation. If they do come to your home it is safest to not answer the door to them.

In the meantime you should treat your council tax bill as a priority and do everything in your power to pay it back. Call the council and try to work out a payment schedule. There is a good chance they will accept a scheduled payment from you if you are up front about your situation. Include a copy of your budget that shows them exactly what you are paying out in bills and what you can afford to pay them. If they can see that you are genuinely struggling they will probably accept a payment. Whatever you do once a payment schedule is set up you must stick to it. You can find out how to prepare a (link)Financial Statement here, which will help to clearly demonstrate your financial situation to your local council.

If you request a payment schedule and they do not accept it, you should send in payments anyway. This will show that you are willing to work on your debt to them. As long as you owe council tax you can get calls from bailiffs. Once a bailiff enters your home he has the right to come back and enter anyway he can get in and this even includes when you are not home. The use of bailiffs can mean that you can lose your property or belongings because they will take your belongings in order to sell them for money to pay your debt.

They can only take enough to satisfy the amount of your outstanding bill. Bailiffs cannot take just anything they want. They do have rules they must follow and they cannot take the property of someone else. The property must belong to you. They cannot take property that you are renting even if it is on a hire purchase agreement and they cannot take property that is essential to your life or job. For example, if you work online and need a computer to do your job they cannot take that computer.

All bailiffs must be properly certificated. Always ask to see the certificate if they gain entry to your home. No bailiff that is not certificated can remove your property and you can complain about the bailiff to the council. You can always try to pay the bailiff to keep him from taking your property. If he does accept the amount you offer to pay it is still important that you do not let him into your home. Have him go to his vehicle to write out a receipt for payment as you should always get a receipt.

Remember that a bailiff cannot break into your home unless he gains entrance first by you and that he could attempt to push past you if you open the door to him. You are better off not answering the door. Having to deal with bailiffs and council tax is far from pleasant but there are many of us who have to. If you have questions about your rights there are places on the internet that can help you find out more detailed information.

If you have debt problems you are better off concentrating on paying back priority debts such as council tax and combining other types of unsecured debt in a debt management plan. You can apply to see if you are eligible for a debt management plan by completing the debt help form below or checking out the recommended debt management companies.

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Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on a mortgage, loan or any other debt secured on it. Think carefully before securing other debts against your home.