Friday, 22 December 2017

I own land! Give me money!

Spotted by Lola in The Birmingham Mail:

Bailiffs have entered into Birmingham’s historic Council House to claim goods and settle an unpaid city council debt.

Two High Court enforcement officers are understood to be going around the building’s back offices taking stock of items they might be able to seize to settle the bill in scenes reminiscent of TV show Can’t Pay We’ll Take It Away. It has been branded a ‘farcical’ situation for Europe’s largest local authority to have failed to settle a bill to the extent that it is now on the receiving end of a court enforcement order. The council is disputing the debt.

Hmm. And what was the nature of the original claim..?

According to council sources the issue surrounded a private landlord chasing unpaid rent from a private tenant whose housing benefit, issued by the city council, had been stopped.


Frank said...

Your title is misleading. It should be: "The court says you owe me money, give me money". I know it's not as snappy but hey, if I could write a snappy headline I'de be working for the Sun.

Mark Wadsworth said...

F, it's up to the tenant to claim housing benefit, and if the council decides he's not entitled, then that is the end of that.

If the council has made a crass error, the tenant is entitled to appeal, fine. The council has some sort of vague obligations towards tenants, but not to landlords. So the court should never have allowed the landlord's application in the first place.

Frank said...

What you think the court should and shouldn't do is neither here nor there. The court decided that the council owed the money, the council didn't pay, the court sent in the bailiffs. The bailiffs are there because the court order wasn't complied with not because "I own some land, give me some money".

Mark Wadsworth said...

F, he owns land and wants the council to give him money, just like I said.

Frank said...

The council lost a court case. The judgment is that they have to pay a certain amount of money. What it's for is irrelevant. It could be for supplying paper clips or cleaning the mayor's gold chain. The fact that it's a landlord wanting his rent doesn't matter, what matters is that the court has decided that it's a debt that the council owes.

And if the government, albeit local government, won't abide by the law what hope is there for us?