Benefits landlord Mick Roberts (pictured) is fuming that he’s spent hours chasing up his local council after it mistakenly billed his daughter for rubbish clearance but refused to speak to him when he tried to clear up the admin mess.
Nottingham Council sent him a bill addressed to his daughter back in 2016, without any explanation about what it was for.
When he called to explain the error, officials told him they could only talk to the person named on the bill – so he didn’t pay it.
And when he recently came to sell the house, Mick’s solicitor alerted him to a £417 charge which he then connected to the incorrect historic bill.
“Their legal department said they wouldn’t talk to me as I had a solicitor dealing with the complaint when in fact my solicitor was just doing conveyancing work,” an exasperated Mick tells LandlordZONE.
“It’s so frustrating that they won’t just pick up the phone, as it could all be sorted out so much more quickly.”
The council has acknowledged the “unfortunate typing error” and explains that the charge related to the removal of rubbish in 2015, which it has now refunded. It told him that this now won’t appear on a search.
A spokesman says professional conduct rules prevent, “communication with a person in relation to a subject in which that person is represented by another solicitor, without permission from that other solicitor”.
She adds that the complaints team doesn’t have access to the individual council departments’ files, information or knowledge, but that they work out who can deal with the complaint before passing on a response, so that citizens don’t have to contact multiple departments.
Mick isn’t satisfied and plans to take his complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman but doesn’t hold out much hope that it will take any action.
“This absurd Nottingham Council complaints process is meant to wear us down and give up trying,” he adds.
Landlord wins battle with council over ‘typing error’ that stopped him selling property – LandlordZONE is written by Helen Gregory for www.landlordzone.co.uk