This might not be the most exciting subject for a blog post, but we hope its something that is going to make life a lot easier for many of our customers, including landlords.
We’ve just launched a new service, ‘Citizen Access View’ or CAV, accessible via our website which gives customers online access to their Council Tax accounts. It will also hold a limited amount of information about people’s Housing Benefit or Council Tax reduction claims. It gives you, the account holder the ability to check all sorts of information when you want it, without having to sit in a phone queue, wait for an email response or come and see us in one of offices. The new service is aimed at the public in general and not specifically at landlords. However, when compared to other residents, landlords as a group often need information about their Council Tax accounts on a more frequent basis, as tenants come and go and circumstances change.
CAV won’t tell you everything you need to know, but there’s a list of things it will allow you to do.
You can ….
See a summary of your Council Tax account and the balance outstanding
- Check to see if a payment has been received
- See if any discounts or benefit has been awarded
- View correspondence already sent
- Update your contact details
- Request your bills by email.
In addition, if you have a tenant who claims either Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction (which replaced the old Council Tax Benefit) they will be able to
- Access a basic summary of their Housing Benefit or Council Tax reduction claim.
- Check to see if their benefit claim has been suspended.
- Check the date and amount of their next Housing Benefit payment.
You can access CAV through the Council Tax pages on our website. You will need your ‘online’ key which is printed on the most recent notification for your Council Tax account. As a security feature, the key is changed, every time a new notification is issued, so do check for this on any letter or bill we send.
The ONLINE KEY is printed on Council Tax notices or bills. It will change with each new notification.
Over time, we are hoping to make more and more of our service accessible online. There are already a number of forms that landlords, tenants or any Sandwell resident can use that are available on our website. The next time you need to contact the council, it might be an idea to check our website first, to see if what you need is already there. Please look out for future posts which will cover some of these aspects.