Six years in progress


What does it say about the efficiency of our local authorities (in this case Lewisham), when we have just had the Bailiff visit our offices to try and collect an overdue council tax from a former tenant of ours who moved out in June 2007?

In this case, the Notice of removal arrived in the post 4 days after the Bailiff had visited our offices, so we couldn’t phone them in advance. That is over six years of ‘processing’, with the final action taken to come knocking on the door of the tenants’ ‘care of’ address, our office, Globe Apartments, clearly a business name.

Instead of making a one-minute phone call to our office, a number held on the local authority's file since 2007, to establish the facts, including that the care of address was a business address, the Bailiff came in person, wasting hours of their time (let alone the six years of processing that had gone before).

Clearly, systems need to be improved to ensure public money is not being wasted, and a more joined-up approach to debt collection is put in place.