If your income has changed and you are concerned about paying your rent or council tax, we can help.
- you can apply to have your council tax reduced. We can also review your monthly payments, spread them across 12 months or arrange a payment holiday
- if you are of pension age and need help to pay your rent, you can apply for housing benefit
- if you receive housing benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit and you are struggling to pay the remainder of your rent, we may be able to give you a temporary, extra rent top up from our discretionary housing payment fund
- if you are working age and need help with your rent or day to day living costs, you can claim Universal Credit and/or Job Seekers Allowance direct from the Department of Work and Pensions
If you already receive council tax support, or housing benefit, please let us know about any income changes you have so we can make sure we are paying you your correct entitlement.
Please give us a call on 01423 500600. You can also make an enquiry online.
Ways to pay:
- Direct debit
You can set up a new direct debit instruction, or amend an existing one online at any time
Direct debit instruction
- Online payment
Use our online payment service to pay by debit or credit card. Payment can be made using MasterCard, Visa, Visa Electron, Maestro, Solo and JCB
- Telephone payment line
Use our 24-hour telephone payment line 01423 556174
- Bank transfer
Payment should be made to sort code: 62-31-10, bank account number: 00000000, quoting your council tax account number as the payment reference
- In person
You can pay cash at PayPoints and Post Offices across the district. Please make sure you have your annual bill barcode with you. To find your nearest PayPoint please visit consumer.paypoint.com.
Requesting a refund
If your council tax account is closed and ends up in credit, you may be entitled to a refund of any overpayment you have made. Refunds can also be made if you have been awarded means-tested council tax reduction or another discount or exemption, and the payments you have already made exceed the total charge for the current year.
If you have received a bill confirming your account is in credit, you can request a refund using our online form.
Refunds are made via bank transfer. Please ensure that you have your bank details to hand before completing this form.
Having difficulty paying?
If you're having difficulties paying your council tax, please contact us straight away. We can discuss the options available, such as alternative payment arrangement, and will do our best to help.
It's possible that you may be entitled to a reduction in your council tax and the amount you have to pay.
- if you have a low income, you may be entitled to council tax reduction - check our benefit calculator to see if you qualify and for details of how to apply
- you can also check if you qualify for any discounts and exemptions
If you don't make council tax payments when they're due, you may have to pay additional costs and increase the level of your debt.
Other help available
If you're having problems budgeting and managing your finances, it's important you take action to avoid getting into debt. The following services may be able to help.
- Leeds City Credit Union - provide a range of financial services, including affordable lending, bill paying budgeting accounts, business loans, regular and Christmas savings
- Citizens Advice - provide free advice on debt management and can advise you of other benefits you may be entitled to, along with advice on subjects including housing, healthcare, the law and your rights
- The Money Advice Service - provide advice guides and tools to help improve your finances
- National Debtline - can provide free, confidential debt and budgeting advice for domestic and business debts
- Stepchange debt charity - provide free debt advice and a personal action plan
- Energy Saving Trust - provide a range of services, including saving energy, reducing the cost of your bills and other support
- GOV.UK - the government's own website provides information relating to public services, including benefit and financial information
What can happen if I don't pay?
Payments are due on or before the dates shown on your bill. If you don't pay on time, action will be taken to recover the money that's owed.
If you have difficulty paying your council tax don't wait until recovery action has started, please contact us as soon as possible to discuss the situation.
A reminder notice can be issued at any time after a payment becomes due. A maximum of two reminders will be issued in a financial year. If you fall into arrears a third time, you'll lose your right to pay by instalments which means the full amount outstanding for the year will become due and we will issue a final notice.
If you do not pay the amount shown on the final notice you will receive a Magistrates Court summons. Summonses are issued to all those named on the bill and costs are added to the account. Costs will NOT be cancelled. At the court hearing the council will apply for a Liability Order to recover the outstanding debt, including the summons costs. You will be charged an additional amount for the Liability Order. To avoid the issue of a Liability Order you must pay your outstanding council tax in full plus the summons costs. A Liability Order will be obtained for the amount of the summons costs if they remain unpaid, even if you have paid the rest of your debt.
If you have received a summons and are not able to pay the full balance, we will try to agree a payment arrangement based on your circumstances. We will still request a liability order from the Magistrates Court and this may incur further costs but no further action will then be taken if your offer is accepted and you keep to the agreed payments.
If a liability order is granted, it will allow us to collect the outstanding amount from you by:
- taking payment from your wages - an attachment of earnings order will be sent to your employer and a copy to you. Deductions are made from your net earnings
- taking payment from your benefits - we can ask for deductions to be taken direct from your universal credit, jobseeker's allowance, income support, pension credit or employment and support allowance at a fixed rate
- removing goods from your home - we can collect the outstanding debt by sending enforcement agents to your home to remove goods to the value of the debt
- putting a charge on a property you own - a charging order secures a charge against your property for the amount owed and this is paid off when the property's sold
- applying for your bankruptcy - you could lose any possessions of value and, if you're a homeowner, the interest in your home
- making an application for your committal to prison - you could be sent to prison for up to three months
You will usually have to pay additional costs for these actions, and these can be substantial. Please see our recovery protocol for more information on the actions we may take.
If a liability order has been granted you should settle the outstanding balance in full. This is the only way to ensure that further action is not taken. If you are not able to pay the full balance, we can consider an offer of payment based on your circumstances. No further action will then be taken if your offer is accepted and you keep to the agreed payments.
If you are an employer and have received a council tax attachment of earnings order, please read our guidance notes for advice on implementing this.
Page last updated 31/03/2020