Difficulties paying your Council Tax
The aim of this section is provide you with advice on what to do if you are having difficulty paying your Council Tax and to explain what may happen if you fail to pay.
We will send you a reminder when you are late with your payment. If you do not bring your account up to date as requested you lose the right to pay by instalments and you will have to pay the whole balance on your account within seven days. If you do not pay the balance within seven days, we will send you a summons.
If you pay the amount we ask for but are late again with future payments, we will send you a second reminder. If you do not pay the amount requested, we will send you a summons. If you pay the amount we ask for but are late again with future payments, we will send you a final notice. At this stage, you lose the right to pay by instalments and you will have to pay the whole balance on your account within seven days. If you do not pay the balance within seven days, we will send you a summons.
If a summons is issued further costs are added to your account. Your case will be heard at the magistrates court and the Council will ask the court for a liability order.
How can I stop you taking action against me?
When we get a liability order, we will send you a letter telling you that a liability order has been made. When you receive the letter you should contact us immediately to discuss your situation and make an agreement to pay the amount you owe.
What happens if I want to make an arrangement to clear what I owe?
You can contact us for advice at any time if you fall behind with your payments. If you have received a summons, you can make an agreement but you will have to pay the court costs and we will still get the liability order from the magistrates’ court.
Before you contact us, it may help you to make a list of your income and outgoings and work out how much you can afford to repay each week or month.
What happens if I default on the arrangement?
If you get behind with the arrangement and we do not hear from you, we will collect the money you owe in one of the following ways.
- We will take the money from your wages/salary
- We will take the money from your Income Support/Job Seekers Allowance
- We will use enforcement agents
It is important that you contact us if you are having difficulties with your payments.
What happens if you pass my account to the enforcement agents?
Once we have passed your account to the enforcement agents, they will contact you. If you have any questions, you should contact the enforcement agents.
The liability order allows the enforcement agents to remove goods from your property so we can sell them and use the money to pay the Council Tax you owe. In practice this will only happen in extreme cases, as the enforcement agents would rather come to an arrangement with you to clear the debt over a period of time.
After we have passed your account to the enforcement agents, they will add extra costs to your debt.
Last Modified: 22/02/2022
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