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 before contacting us.
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, and the full amount will become due.
If you do not pay the amount shown on the reminder 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 can consider an offer of payment 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 jobseeker's allowance, income support, pension credit or employment and support allowance at a fixed rate of £3.70 per week
- 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.
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.
Page last updated 04/04/2017