Do not ignore the notices we send to you.
If you are struggling to pay please contact us as we may be able to offer you a special payment arrangement. We can also check that you have all the discounts you are entitled to.
What happens if I don't pay?
We don't want you to get behind with your payments so we will send you a Reminder if a payment is late. If you don't pay within 7 days of getting the Reminder you could lose the right to pay by instalments and a Final notice will be issued.
Should I wait for Reminder?
No. You could lose the right to pay by instalments. If we have sent you two Reminder for late payment and any of your future payments are late, you will have to pay the rest of the year's council tax immediately.
What happens next?
If you do not pay the amount on your Reminder or Final notice, legal action can start. We will apply to the Magistrate Court for a Summons to be issued. You will be notified of the date and time of the hearing together with the costs that you will incur (£75.00) for taking this action. Link to Council Tax - Questions and Answers about Summons
If you pay the amount due, shown on the summons, before the day of the Hearing, no further action will be taken and the costs will be removed.
If you do not pay, the Magistrates will issue a Liability Order.
What is a liability order?
A Liability Order gives the council powers to collect the debt in various ways.
At this stage, we may still agree a special payment with you rather than use the Liability Order. If you do not pay as agreed, we will take further action.
With a Liability Order we can:-
- Make an attachment of earnings order. We will require certain information to be provided. You are legally required to provide this information. It will include your work details. We will instruct your employer to take money from your earnings to pay your council tax arrears.
- Make deductions from Income Support, ESA, GPC or JSA. Money can be taken from your Income Support or income-based Job Seekers Allowance.
- Make a Charging Order. If you owe us more than £1000 and you own your own home, a charge can be placed on your property.
- Employ Enforcement Agents to collect the debt. The charges involved are set out in legislation. They can be considerable and you will be liable to pay them. Please visit for more information :www.gov.uk/your-rights-bailiffs
- Take committal proceedings. You can be committed to prison if you refuse or neglect to pay your council tax. The Magistrates will examine how the debt arose and, if they consider you have refused or neglected to pay, they will impose a prison sentence. You have the right to seek legal assistance for this hearing and you may be entitled to Legal Aid. The Magistrates may suspend a prison sentence pending payments being made under an arrangement. This can lead to further court costs being awarded against you.
If you have genuine financial difficulties, please contact us.
Alternatively the Citizens advice Bureau offer free and impartial advice on debt management on 01536 265501