Complaining to the Local Authority
With council tax, business rates (NNDR), unpaid parking charge notices (and congestion charges etc) the bailiff is instructed by the Local Authority (Council). Accordingly, the bailiff is acting as their agent. As such, the local authority are wholly responsible for all acts and omissions of their agents. If you are considering complaining to the local authority, you should copy your complaint to the enforcement agency.
How to address your Complaint
If your complaint is of a serious nature it should be addressed to the Chief Executive and clearly marked as: FORMAL COMPLAINT. This will not mean that the complaint will be read by the Chief Executive. It will though ensure that your complaint is registered as a “complaint”. Almost always, your complaint will then be referred to a senior member of staff to resolve. If the complaint is not serious, it should be addressed to the Head of Revenues (in the case of council tax debts).
If your complaint is rejected.
If the local authority reject a complaint they will state in their letter that the complaint has been considered as a Stage 1 Complaint and that if you are not satisfied with the response, that you can request for the complaint to be reconsidered as a Stage 2 Complaint. Your complaint will then be assigned to a different member of staff. If you do seek a review, you will be required to outline the reasons why you are dissatisfied with the initial response.
If you are not satisfied with the response to your Complaint
If you are not satisfied with the response to your Stage 2 complaint, you may then refer your complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman to consider. The LGO will very rarely consider a complaint unless it has first gone through the relevant local authorities complaints procedure.
Commentary from Bailiff Advice Online
If you are considering making a formal complaint to the local authority regarding the conduct of a bailiff company (or bailiff) and wish to discuss whether or not this is the correct procedure, please feel free to contact us in confidence. You can email a question to us using our online Enquiry Form. Alternatively, can contact our free helpline. Details are on our Contact page.