A bloke got the shock of his life after a bumbling council wrote to him to say it was “sorry to hear” he had died.
Stuart Dobson, 77, got the bizarre letter from South Norfolk Council telling him he'd died… and how he could get tax exemption for being dead.
They wrote: “I am sorry to hear that the above person has passed away.
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“I have applied a class F Council Tax exemption – this is based on the assumption that the deceased was the sole owner or tenant of the above property.
“If the deceased was not the sole owner or tenant of the property, the class F exemption will not be applicable.
“The current owner(s) will be responsible for any Council Tax that may become due.”
However, the sad truth is that his wife Ann, whom he was married to for 54 years, had died just one month prior.
Understandably upset, Mr Dobson wrote back to the council to prove he was alive, and told them that the mistake had caused him “distress”.
He told Local Democracy Reporting Service: “I have been up there to give them a letter, I've hand-delivered it to the council, telling them, 'Do I look dead to you?'
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“It's an utter shambles, they're asking me to fill in forms when they think I'm dead, it doesn't make sense – I don't need this at all.”
And in the response letter, which he called “ill-informed,” he said that he “doubts” the “sanity and rational thinking” involved when it comes to writing to a deceased person to “ask them to fill in a council tax form”.
A council spokesman said: "The council has apologised to Mr Dobson for the mistake made when updating our records following the death of Mrs Dobson, and we regret that our mistake has caused Mr Dobson upset at this difficult time.
"We have reviewed what happened and unfortunately this was a case of human error for which we are deeply sorry.”
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