Household Response: why you need to open this letter from your council – or risk getting a £1,000 fine
HOUSEHOLDS that fail to respond to letters hitting doormats across the country face a fine of £1,000.
Councils are sending out forms in the post about who is registered to vote at each address.
These letters are legitimate, not junk mail, and are known as a Household Response form.
Local authorities must do an annual canvas to check that the details of everyone who is registered to vote are correct.
This usually happens between July and November and you need to check the information and respond.
Even if nothing has changed and the information about everyone in your house is correct, you still need to confirm this.
What is the Household Response Form?
These letters are posted to your letterbox by your local council between July and November each year – so the exact date you get one will depend on when yours is sent out.
Now is the key period for the forms to be sent out, so make sure you respond on time, even if the information is correct.
Every home in the UK must respond, so that the council can make sure their data is up-to-date.
The letter lists all those living in the property that are currently registered to vote and asks you to check and update the details.
It also gives you details on how you can respond – and anyone in the household can complete and send the form back.
You may also be contacted via text message or email.
If you haven't received an enquiry form or other communication, then contact your council.
How do I confirm the details?
You can confirm the details online and there should be instructions on the form, email or text message on how to do this.
Or you can go to householdresponse.com and find your local authority.
You will need two security codes printed on the from you get in the post.
You can also complete the form itself and return it to your local council – information on how to do that will be on the form itself.
If the details on the from are correct, you just need to confirm this.
If you need to amend the details you can make the changes on the form or online too.
What happens if I don’t complete the Household Response?
Failing to reply before the council's chosen deadline could land you a fine of up to £1,000.
The Electoral Commission's website says: "There is a criminal penalty of a fine up to a maximum of £1,000 for failing to provide the information required".
What happens next and how can you register to vote?
If you respond stating that there are no changes, the council will not contact you again until next year.
But if there are new people now living at your household, the council will send each person an Invitation to Register (ITR).
You can register by going online at www.gov.uk/registertovote.
Registering to vote and being on the electoral roll can improve your credit score and increase your chances of getting approved for a loan, mortgage or credit card.
Earlier this year households faced a £1,000 fine for not filling in the census form.
Drivers could face £1,000 fine if they don’t follow six ‘new’ road rules.
There are six reasons you could get fined in hot weather, including £5,000 for driving in flip flops.
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