Bailiffs sent by Cornwall Council 'targeted Surrey businessman in error'

image copyrightNatu Dhanji
image captionNatu Dhanji called the incident a "total waste of taxpayers' money"

A businessman says bailiffs knocked on his door claiming for rates on a property hundreds of miles away that he does not own.

Natu Dhanji from Surrey was accused of failing to pay business rates totalling £7,823 for a unit in Cornwall.

The property, Kernick Industrial Estate, Penryn, is part of Century House - a name similar to that of his own unrelated company, Century Estates.

Cornwall Council said it had put the account on hold while it investigated.

image copyrightLDRS / Richard Whitehouse
image captionMr Dhanji said he had never set foot in the county of Cornwall where the property is located

Mr Dhanji said: "I said to them that I have never had a property there. I have since spoken to the council and they said that records showed that it was ours," according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

"I explained to the lady at the council that we had never had any property in Cornwall and they said that, according to their records, Century House is owned by Century Estates.

"They said that they had been writing to us at the property, but we don't occupy that property or own it so how would we have got their letters?

"I have never even been to Cornwall," he added.

Mr Dhanji said the bailiffs had repossession orders and said he had now been threatened with court action.

He added: "Having these bailiffs on my doorstep was unbelievable."

"I asked the council if they had checked Land Registry records but they told me that they don't do that. This is a total waste of taxpayers' money and is wholly incompetent."

In a statement Cornwall Council said: "We have spoken to Mr Dhanji and have placed the account on hold while we investigate the situation."