PO box question causes drama

A COUNCIL notice asking people to prove they don't live inside a post office box is the latest controversy in the non-owner-occupier rates issue.

Patricia Erfurt-Cooper from Craignish was "not amused" to receive a letter from the council asking her to provide proof that her house is her principle place of residence, due to her having a separate mailing address.

The problem is that Ms Erfurt-Cooper's separate mailing address is a post office box.

She said it was absurd the owner of a property needed to show that was not where they lived when it was "plainly obvious that nobody could physically live in a PO box".

The letter from the council states the reason for this request of proof of residence was the creation of the new General Rate Category Three for "Non Owner Occupier Residential" properties.

"For properties where rate notices are sent to a postal address not the same as the property address or a post office box, clarification is required from the owners on their principal place of residence," the letter says.

It goes on to state that if no response is forthcoming within 45 days, the property will be moved into the new rates category.

Ms Erfurt-Cooper said she felt the letter was "heavy handed," particularly the deadline to respond within 45 days.

"Some people may be travelling for a few months, and by the time they come home they have another rates notice," she said.

The council was asked to comment on this issue, but was unable to respond by the time of publication.



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