This is the second part of Nigel’s story – scammed by the VOA. You can read part one here – unwantedcounciltax/
Nigel and Sue had lived in their property since 1974. In that time a downstairs utility room had been repurposed as a cancer support facility for Nigel and an ‘insignificant’ extension had been added. There were no cooking facilities in the utility room, but the VOA listed it as a ‘food preparation area’ (kitchen) and used this to justify a hike in banding from F to G. Council tax banding is legally set at the 1991 value and should only altered on sale of the property.
Or when a number of similar properties have been re-banded.
After Nigel was visited by the VOA he became suspicious of their actions and following discussion with his neighbours, he realised they visited him in order to raise his council tax band in line with the illegally raised rates of his neighbours. It has taken him over 5 years to unravel the truth and in that time he has approached every agency and politician who should serve to protect the public. Here is Nigel’s story.
Our council tax band demands “doubled” almost overnight to near £450 a month so serious for us.
We were defrauded causing the loss of our cancer support utility room, as not only was our band F uplifted to a G band we were also given a band A at a £130 a month extra on its own to “persuade” us to accept the less expensive G band as they intended to remove the fraudulent band A later. Hindsight is a wonderful thing as back then we didn’t know what was going on, but after starting an investigation it soon became clear we had been lied to and defrauded.
It was a while before we knew we were being scammed as those responsible had gone to ground, remaining silent and would not respond to communications of any type after a short letter informing us we were now a band G and on top a Band A the letter arriving on a Friday from VOA Reading Berkshire and active from the Monday.
There were no reasons, no explanation and no legislation reference and within a day after the Monday, council tax demands were dropping through our letterbox. After all the many years we paid via our direct debit that was immediately cancelled as discovered two other neighbours scammed as our direct next door neighbour for 27 years
One of them unknowing for nine months the council were helping themselves to extra council taxes from their direct debit as they hadn’t known their band had been quietly and surreptitiously lifted by the Valuation Office Agency from the one they had paid for 27 years without fail making them pay around £440 extra per 10 months on top. As my wife and I had done and Council rates 19 years before the National UK wide Banding, the legislation of which is still current thanks to the actions of Eric Pickles, as part of the coalition government, actions which were ultimately ignored by this feral Central Government Agency, the Executive Arm of HMRC
These civil servants from this Government Agency were dishonest and deceitful, manipulative fraudsters, so do not let the VOA onto your property, never mind through your front door, but since the Coalition Government actions of stopping the England valuations as one was carried out in Wales, then closing off databases to the VOA and barring them from entering our homes, they continued but without entry, but to cover up they needed to enter our home to defraud and abuse us but of course unknowing to us at the time.
Remember Council Taxes are for the life you remain resident in your family home.
These acts perpetrated upon us and others before us, will remain for as long as one lives in their homes and as we were in our family home for 47 years, a serious financial issue. But for many the amounts scammed will vary dependant on what council tax band you were before being defrauded and uplifted
I know many of you think it’s the Council that deal with the bands, but it is this (Valuation Office Agency) the VOA who issues the bands, the relevant councils just apply their charges for the bands and collect the revenue to provide us with the local services they are paid for by us to provide, but declining services for many of us.
We cannot deny that many councils are in difficulty through Government underfunding or financial incompetence in some cases, but Government reducing funding cannot be an excuse or reason to defraud and bully homeowners, hardworking families and tenants to acquire more cash for councils. Or as the anti-corruption MP and his term of (Unwanted Council Taxes) now proven fraudulent, abusive and bullying with it if one simply asks a question or two as is ones right, but an answer they will not receive from these VOA fraudsters.
Our council tax almost doubled to £450 a month caused us not a little stress and my wife was intimidated by it all, but not as intimidated as our farm neighbours found later being extorted for £22,000 by the Valuation Office Agency and aided by their very own District Council. One of all Councils directives is to prevent fraud to its own council taxpayer communities so a large fail there then.
The first of the evidence we were scammed and cheated for council cash we didn’t owe.
Although our direct neighbours official VOA complaint was doomed to failure unknowing to her, that complaint had generated paperwork and eventually what the VOA issue out termed a “Final Notice” which meant pay up or choose to go to a tribunal, a rigged one as it transpired, but we were wholly unaware of that and what was to come after.
Who could have foreseen the Department for Communities and Local Government sponsored Tribunals were colluding with the VOA? Rigged , corrupt and forcing homeowners and tenants to an unaffordable position which meant they had nowhere to go. These rigged Tribunals where no oath was taken were similar to those Soviet “show trials” also with no justice and evidence ignored, no oath taken of course so they were free to lie and they certainly did it was proven.
Forced to a High Court only option and given 28 days, forced by a point of corrupt lawlessness which just meant the poor homeowner, tenants had to be “processed” to the end of these soviet style Tribunals in a Holiday Inn somewhere. That’s where ours were held and a more in depth guide on these Tribunals should they not have stopped by now, will be provided for your own safety in the future.
Our neighbour now had paperwork and it said she was now a Band G from her band F as a “similar” property to hers a three and four bedroom detached house was a G band in April 1993. The other two were not even told anything, just a small grey G appeared on their annual council tax advice and the extra monies removed from their direct debit accounts.
For anyone who understands council taxes that would raise a red flag as that 1991-1993 legislation is still current thanks to the actions of Eric Pickles as anti-corruption champion, but I have found over the time that we are all fish in a barrel and our trust, both in our public servants, our councils even our own Parliament and MPs, that public trust and the systems to protect us have been shamefully exploited in these abusive bullying scams, so never ever allow a civil servant over your thresholds they are barred anyway, now you know and check your council tax band.
The VOA “Final Notice” provides a couple of nearby roads, but does not specify the alleged “similar” property of course they don’t it’s a scam upon trusting and very vulnerable and innocent homeowners and tenants
They don’t expect anyone to look, but even if they did they know it’s almost impossible to find as since 1993 many F band three and four bedroom detached homes are now a G band and that’s fine as previous occupants have added significant additions then sold and that’s how the system should work lawfully, but these crooks couldn’t wait.
Faced with a £450 a month council tax bill, the loss of our cancer support utility room caused me a few medical problems and the VOA now in hiding, I had to investigate to understand what had gone on. Although in cancer recovery and much concern from my wife, I set out to very slowly walk the local roads specified on my neighbour’s VOA Final Notice, it was difficult but what else could I have done, it was like the VOA never existed, completely silent.
It took much effort and time investigating but I eventually discovered how they had defrauded us.
I checked the bands of various properties but it was almost impossible. But I had located two F band 3 and 4 bedroom detached houses which confused me at the time. Later through luck, good fortune or justice, call it what you will I discovered what they had done and found the VOA Final Notice fraudulent “similar” property they had utilised to deceive and scam us all and they would have used the same modus operandi with other homeowners.
What the VOA fraudsters had omitted to mention was this house, whilst yes it was a G band April 1st 1993 they forgot to mention the brick built swimming pool at the rear and significant additions built before April 1991 and here you can see three “similar” houses, one is a G band April 1993 the other two an F band from April 1993 remaining an F band as four of us scammed should have done.
Conclusive evidence, it was reported so what happened? Nothing happened and those crooks remained silent, as well as those above them and responsible for these crooked civil servants, the Chief Executive and the VOA Board all informed, but also the Conservative Ministers for the Department for Communities and Local Government and others.
Don’t forget this was a supposed (civil matter) and here was the proof, not only that, there was the proof of deceit with the “food preparation area” lies, our legislations as well and I had not yet been forced to these corrupt and rigged DCLG Tribunals. They were yet to come, along with the very corrupt complaints path for the people of the United Kingdom and a little more than the “closing of ranks” a former Prime Minister spoke of regarding the Gosport Hospital deaths.
The VOA Chief Executive should have immediately stepped in and apologised. I requested a face to face meeting with the offending Listing Officer responsible, as laid down in the Council Tax Manual, but no response and I was forced to a Tribunal with them knowing this evidence. Once they had got the homeowner through one of these corrupt soviet styled affairs, they considered there was little the homeowners could do, and that will all be explained later when the business ratepayer’s circumstances are explained too.
A friend found the VOA Reading case officers home address on Facebook and as she wouldn’t respond a letter was written to her as VOA Reading was completely silent and unresponsive, but all that achieved was to have a Police Constable arrive at our front door, who was very nice, but I found that intimidation method appalling as surely the VOA could have phoned me, responded as laid down in their found to be worthless HMRC Charter and that Policeman to our front door wasn’t to be the first as the investigation progressed, sent to intimidate I had to presume.
I had by then been writing to the Housing Secretary who then the MP for Tunbridge Wells and he ignored the first few communications, but eventually his office passed me to one of their civil servants in the Department for Communities and Local Government, the same who were sponsoring these rigged Tribunals but I didn’t know that then.
I wrote and asked a few questions and for a short period he was helpful and provided me with some information that was until I must have asked the wrong question, as all of a sudden he dived under his desk and was not responding but then actually blocking my communications and he even returned hard copy communication unopened as a return address is always provided, so why did he do that I thought.
Although there was much else, this told me something, wasn’t quite sure of what at the time, but definitely VOA and civil service skulduggery was in process, as it had been when the Coalition Government stepped in to stop these termed (Unwanted Council Taxes), but they were very much more than that, but the Government actions failed and the five of us are the proof of that, so I know there are other homeowners out there who have been scammed, some may not know it, but they are out there.
These Valuation Office Agency frauds, abuse and bullying public servant behaviour was going on before us
There must have been a number scammed for the Government to take the serious actions they did at the time. The evidence was very clear, we had not sold since 1974 so by law could not be re-banded, but we were for the VOA to cover up the fact that they had falsely re-banded my neighbours. I had by then also confirmed our band F status being resident since 1974 it wasn’t too difficult as it would be for others and our value was well below the £160,000 on the 1st April 1991 as was our scammed next door neighbour so a definitive Band F and not a Band G.
The first three scammed equally had not sold, two of them since 1994, but each had built what may be termed a “significant addition” as was their right to do so without penalty. The VOA and those involved had been carrying out this scam before and that was evident as these were not just passing frauds as the evidence confirmed.
During the period of investigating one more neighbour being abused and defrauded was discovered.
About two months after the Valuation Office Agency had barged into our home, I found another neighbour and by that time she was deeply distressed. Our longest term neighbour at the time was incapacitated from many years of working on the farm and bringing up her family, and waiting for two operations.
She was being ruthlessly extorted by the same people from the Valuation Office Agency assisted by her own district council for a sum of £22,000 of council tax allegedly owed….later confirmed they didn’t owe.
I use the word “extort” as that is what it was and she didn’t know what to do or where to turn, the council involved ignored her letters, the person named was never available, the Valuation Office Agency refusing to visit this poor woman time after time saying she needed “evidence” well we know now how “evidence” is ignored and cast aside. Wouldn’t visit and she was a three minute walk from our house the VOA barged into.
Although having to fight for our home, my wife, the others who had signed an authorisation, I stepped in between our Farm neighbour and her antagonists, the VOA and our Council and it took me nearly two years to prise those public servant claws from her. Partly made possible as the offending VOA colluding council CEO fled after a request from me to meet face to face after the second of the corrupt Tribunals.
Almost two years even though the evidence was very clear she never ever owed that money after her Mother died. The full story and detail will set back family care at home to the stone age as what happened was more than shameful, yet this Government, HMRC, Parliament and even our own new MP for Beaconsfield remain silent and avoiding and why you are able to start reading what happened, if only for your safety.
Homeowners and tenants have NO protection from these types of VOA scams and their modus-operandi
It’s understandable you all may think you have some protection; you do not and allow me to explain. Whilst I am keen to impart all the unsavoury detail, I am a guest on this website and it would be too long, but these frauds were jointly reported in a written complaint to the Police Service at Maidenhead Police Station as ours had been closed down many years before. The constituency of former Prime Minister who knew what had been going on as she was fully informed but had ignored all communications to No 10 and remained inactive and silent like other elected politicians and Ministers.
The police wrote back and informed us that there was nothing they could do as termed “civil” even though the evidence of fraud was provided with the Police complaint, so that route had effectively been blocked to the homeowner and tenants defrauded by those in the Valuation Office Agency the VOA part of HMRC
That meant we had little choice other than to be forced to this pre warned “whitewash” alleged impartial adjudicator in Nottingham home of the VOA and HMRC and let me make extremely clear to you all please, there is no impartiality from this office whatsoever.
The corruption with our civil servants, within the United Kingdom citizens’ complaints path was getting more serious as time passed yet our Government, our Ministers, the Justice Department, HMRC they all remained silent. A complaint was lodged as the HMRC have a Serious Misconduct Panel to complain to about their staff
Even though the Valuation Office Agency is their “Executive Arm”, after a brief communication they went silent and refused to communicate further, (covering up) are two words that are simply insufficient for them.
Over the period and unbelievable as it sounds, this crook of a VOA Listing Officer in whose name these females from VOA Reading scammed us all, he banded us a Band G and a Band A again? So twice now yes he did in his panicking attempts to cover up or make me give up and threatened to raise the two Band F located who were both occupied by two elderly widows before the National Bandings.
I suggested to him that would be a bad idea. But he banded us again to force us to yet another tribunal for the same thing, that’s how out of control this Feral Agency and its staff have been allowed to become. One time I have termed them dangerous to the home owning hard working families and tenants, our businesses too
DCLG Tribunal with no sworn oath . A Magistrates later oath sworn, but gagged & prevented to speak
Gagged as I had been subject and forced to a corrupt and rigged Tribunal where no oath was sworn and evidence ignored. In order to expose the truth, I persuaded the council to take me to the local Magistrates at High Wycombe.
I attended and after taking the oath began to state why I had not paid the monies demanded, but every time I went to speak, I was gagged by interruption of the judge and not allowed to speak!
So the Police route (Blocked) the Department of Communities and Local Government financially sponsored Tribunals (Rigged, and Corrupt) the Magistrates court (silenced) the complaints path (Dishonest, Lying and Covering up) the last in the line for all the citizens of the United Kingdom the PHSO or Parliamentary Ombudsman (retreated with no alleged powers they said and did nothing) and we the public pay for them to do that to us?
Government both Elected and Central, two Prime Ministers, the Justice Department, two Home Secretaries and one Prime Minister anti-corruption MP all remained silent, although fully kept informed, those who head the Civil Service silent and unresponsive.
Parliament fully informed every MP all remained silent, our own and new MP for Beaconsfield we are forced to because of “Parliament Protocols” I met with in February 2020 face to face in Taplow Village Hall and provided the evidence & the facts of the past 4 ½ years. A year later, asking what progress had been made, this is what she wrote back “what was it we her five constituents wanted her to do? ” So after 12 months she had not lifted a finger to provide assistance, not asked any of us one question, so colluding with the cover up? Well, I will leave for all the millions of council taxpayers and later her Beaconsfield constituents, homeowners and businesses to decide from the evidence.
So you are all unprotected from these scams, but forewarned is forearmed, so if I may ask each one of you please to circulate this website address to all your friends and associates whether homeowners or business rate payers. phsothetruestory.com/2021/03/26/unwantedcounciltax/
You can read the third part of this story here – complaints-do-they-make-a-difference/
I feel like im on the same road. I am verging on judicial review, but my experience is the same. Mistakes, followed up by cover up and cover up, ignoring evidence!
You need to get legal advice. Judicial review is very costly and very difficult to win against a public body.
Check, challenge. Appeal. What ? It did not work ? It’s a scam? Sorry welcome to the British government we do whatever the fuck we like?
Sweet mother of God, I’m speechless. They don’t care at all. I’m beginning to think the second amendment has feet. In these troubled times anyone can come into your home and demand you follow ‘the rules’ that keep changing. I’m planting potatoes, carrots, onions in pots, for what it’s worth.
Going mental I am
In my opinion the Council et al are big scammers. They employ stupid thugs and corruption is rife at every level. Why else have we got monstrous over development. With no regard for the public.
I have never recovered from my experience with multiple public bodies. It’s a gigantic scam.
The saddest part is if you try telling anyone, they’ll think you mad, bad or sad as they run a mile. The experience is so twisted and unbelievable it has that effect on you. i.e. you feel twisted and lack trust.
However, it’s not for no reason Britain has left most of the world fighting each other. Whilst those at the top sit pretty, and screw their own citizens. Just read our inglorious history.