A mother-of-two who was 'hounded' for council tax on a property at which she never lived has finally been offered compensation.
Linda Manning, of Vernon Road, Feltham, was chased by Hounslow Council over rates for a home in Wellesley Road, Chiswick, where a Linda Quinn was listed as living.
Despite her protestations that she had never had anything to do with the property or used the surname Quinn, the council refused to budge.
The 51-year-old former sales assistant says the stress and cost of the ensuing nine-year battle saw her lose her job, declare herself bankrupt and suffer a nervous breakdown.
She finally won her case in December last year after taking it to the Local Government Ombudsman, which settles council disputes.
The council, which now accepts she has no links to the property in Chiswick and has apologised for any distress caused, was asked by the ombudsman to pay her £450 in compensation.
But Miss Manning says this only covers the last year of the dispute and she wants compensation for the full nine years of trauma she went through.
"The council has hounded me for nine years and I believe I'm entitled to compensation for the full period," she said.
"I still haven't had a personal apology from the council for the way it treated me, which led to my suffering a nervous breakdown and losing my job."
She believes she was deliberately linked to the Chiswick address out of spite back in 2004 after angering council officers by getting them to correctly 'disregard' part of her child support payments when calculating her benefits.
Miss Manning received her first bill for the home in Wellesley Road in 2004/5 and despite repeated complaints was twice taken to court by the council, leading her to declare herself bankrupt in 2008.
She thought the matter had been dropped only to receive a new £1,573 council tax bill for the property in October 2012, which has now been written off.
She is not the first person to receive a council tax bill for a property they did not own or live at. Pete Cannon was this January confronted by a bailiff on his doorstep in Kent over rates for a house in Brentford he had sold six years earlier.
A council spokesman said: "Due to mistakes on our part, both Mrs Manning and Mr Cannon were wrongly asked to pay council tax on properties they did not occupy, and we sincerely apologise for our errors.
"We work hard to make sure council tax arrears are paid in full, but unfortunately in these cases mistakes were made, and we will do all we can to avoid this happening again."