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I'm a full time student... in court tomorrow for unpaid council tax. Advice ? Watch

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    Hello all,

    I'm currently a full time student enrolled at the University of Sunderland. I started my Computer Science degree in September 2014 and currently on placement down in Gloucester.

    I've had some ongoing issues for some time with Gloucester City Council and it's gotten to the point where It has impacted on my studies.

    When I moved into my flat (living alone) in Gloucester, the council asked me to provide a student exemption form. I did this. However the start date of the student exemption form wasn't as September 2014 it was September 2016. It was an exemption form for my current placement year only. The council charged me a 3-4 week period prior to this date. I explained I'm a student during this 3-4 week period and will get a student exemption form for my previous year study to resolve the issue.

    After getting the previous year exemption form which covered my first 2 years of study, there was a gap that remained of 3-4 weeks between the end date on the first form and the start date on the current exemption form.

    I explained to the council that the university have asked you to contact them if you have any issues covering this period.

    The council have simply ignored my multiple requests and responded with "It's my obligation to prove my student status during this period". I've explained my proof is the contact number for the university, if you ring them they will confirm. However the council have not done this and as a result I'm in court tomorrow.

    I have to take with me... my student card which has a start date of 09/14 and an expiry date of 09/17. and the 2 copies of the exemption forms.

    I feel like I'm going insane, I have a friend who is on the same placement and from the same course but lives in another area and his council have not gave any issues.

    I'm really stressed and angry. I know under UK law students are exempt but the council are so incompetent and won't make a simple phone call.

    What would you do in my situation 'right now' ?
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    One thing to add, I haven't left this to the last day to 'do my homework' I mean advice in general, I know I'm right here but I have a feeling the court will be just as ignorant on the case and think its a typical tax avoider.
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    (Original post by jlis)
    One thing to add, I haven't left this to the last day to 'do my homework' I mean advice in general, I know I'm right here but I have a feeling the court will be just as ignorant on the case and think its a typical tax avoider.
    Explain calmly - do not get angry.
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    make sure you turn up and defend it. provide your proof to the court. why did you wait two years toapply for exemption. they can claim that they cant back date it so far. i hope you win. it will be an expensive lesson to learn and it could effect future jobs if a perfect credit rating is needed. ive had runins over this in the past they can be a right pain.
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    (Original post by paulbarlow)
    make sure you turn up and defend it. provide your proof to the court. why did you wait two years toapply for exemption. they can claim that they cant back date it so far. i hope you win. it will be an expensive lesson to learn and it could effect future jobs if a perfect credit rating is needed. ive had runins over this in the past they can be a right pain.
    Apologies I should have said. I was living at home on my first 2 years, I moved away for my placement and claimed exemption then.
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    Stage all the facts. You're in placement can you not pay a lawyer?
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    (Original post by Anfanny)
    Stage all the facts. You're in placement can you not pay a lawyer?
    I can't afford a lawyer unfortunately. Relocating for my placement cost me a great deal which I'm still repaying to family.

    That would be nice though
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    (Original post by jlis)
    I can't afford a lawyer unfortunately. Relocating for my placement cost me a great deal which I'm still repaying to family.

    That would be nice though
    Hahaha just for remedy I meant state as in give all the facts. Don't stage them!
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    (Original post by jlis)
    Hello all,

    I'm currently a full time student enrolled at the University of Sunderland. I started my Computer Science degree in September 2014 and currently on placement down in Gloucester.

    I've had some ongoing issues for some time with Gloucester City Council and it's gotten to the point where It has impacted on my studies.

    When I moved into my flat (living alone) in Gloucester, the council asked me to provide a student exemption form. I did this. However the start date of the student exemption form wasn't as September 2014 it was September 2016. It was an exemption form for my current placement year only. The council charged me a 3-4 week period prior to this date. I explained I'm a student during this 3-4 week period and will get a student exemption form for my previous year study to resolve the issue.

    After getting the previous year exemption form which covered my first 2 years of study, there was a gap that remained of 3-4 weeks between the end date on the first form and the start date on the current exemption form.

    I explained to the council that the university have asked you to contact them if you have any issues covering this period.

    The council have simply ignored my multiple requests and responded with "It's my obligation to prove my student status during this period". I've explained my proof is the contact number for the university, if you ring them they will confirm. However the council have not done this and as a result I'm in court tomorrow.

    I have to take with me... my student card which has a start date of 09/14 and an expiry date of 09/17. and the 2 copies of the exemption forms.

    I feel like I'm going insane, I have a friend who is on the same placement and from the same course but lives in another area and his council have not gave any issues.

    I'm really stressed and angry. I know under UK law students are exempt but the council are so incompetent and won't make a simple phone call.

    What would you do in my situation 'right now' ?
    Fake your death.
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    +1 for cheering me up the night before
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    Take a **** on the courtroom floor those gloucester ones enjoy a good laughing. Best of luck!
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    (Original post by Anfanny)
    Take a **** on the courtroom floor those gloucester ones enjoy a good laughing. Best of luck!
    Thanks mate
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    Chances are the court will realise what a **** show shambles the council have done and everything will work out fine and in your favour. As quite rightly you owe nothing as you have been a student for the entire duration.
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    is it too late to flee the country?
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    My guess is that the court will realise you have done your best to prove your exemption and that you clearly DO have an exemption since student status remains over the summer and you are still doing the same course.
    Just for future reference I would have kept pushing on the university side - there obviously are ways around it (as none of your friends have issues) but the person working at the council potentially can't see any way on their system to override it and all the university would have had to do was write you a letter or something to provide the council with. Also, one month council tax is like £60 isn't it? It might have been worth paying just to save the stress of having to go to court.
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    (Original post by doodle_333)
    My guess is that the court will realise you have done your best to prove your exemption and that you clearly DO have an exemption since student status remains over the summer and you are still doing the same course.
    Just for future reference I would have kept pushing on the university side - there obviously are ways around it (as none of your friends have issues) but the person working at the council potentially can't see any way on their system to override it and all the university would have had to do was write you a letter or something to provide the council with. Also, one month council tax is like £60 isn't it? It might have been worth paying just to save the stress of having to go to court.
    You're right I probably could have done Moreno on the university side, the problem is it's at the other end of the country. There response via phone was the same. Your email also correct the council tax is 60 but with fines they'vcharged me 130. I didn't pay it out of principle really as it's robbery
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    (Original post by jlis)
    You're right I probably could have done Moreno on the university side, the problem is it's at the other end of the country. There response via phone was the same. Your email also correct the council tax is 60 but with fines they'vcharged me 130. I didn't pay it out of principle really as it's robbery
    I agree and tbh I would have refused to pay as well because I'm stubborn and as you said - it's the principle - but I know my partner and family would have been saying 'just pay it so you don't have to worry'! I would have tried to contact other people at the uni, when you don't get a helpful response from one person the best solution is 'who is your manager' and just repeat until someone decides they can't be bothered and gives you what you want! It may still be worth trying this if you could potentially get somewhere before the court date.
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    Update: case thrown out within 30 seconds and apologies issued. I won
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      (Original post by jlis)
      Update: case thrown out within 30 seconds and apologies issued. I won
      WOOHOO!
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      well done. 99% of cases are undefended. so when a defendant turns up they get worried. councils are really bad to talk to.
     
     
     
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