Recovery of Council Tax
If you get into payment difficulties and you can't afford your instalments, contact us straight away. We may be able to help you by making a different payment arrangement. Remember that paying by direct debit ensures that your payments are made on time every month.
If you pay late we will send you a reminder or final notice. If you do not pay you lose your right to pay by instalments and this could result in you being summoned to appear in a Magistrates' Court and court costs may be added to your council tax account.
The Council will attend the court to apply for a liability order, which confirms who is liable for the tax. There is no need to attend the court if you have made a payment arrangement with us before the court date, but if you if you wish to oppose the issue of the order, you must attend court. There are 2 valid reasons which the Magistrates would take into account:
- You have not been billed correctly or
- You can prove the bill has been paid.
If the court decides you are responsible for paying and you have not paid in full, they can issue a liability order. Once the Council has a liability order you should contact us to make an arrangement to pay. If you do not contact us, or we cannot agree how you will pay, we will usually try to collect the money in one of the following ways:
- Making deductions from your Employment Support Allowance, Income Support, and Job Seekers Allowance or from your wages.
- Asking Enforcement Agents to collect the debt by removing and selling some of your possessions. You will also have to pay their fees.
- Commencing insolvency proceedings through the High Court.
- Applying to the County Court for a charging order on your property that enables us to force its sale or repay your Council Tax out of the proceeds of any future sale. This will also result in you paying additional fees.
Any payment arrangement will include court costs, currently £70 for the summons and £37 for the issue of the liability order.
If you do not pay we can return to court. The court may decide to send you to prison, order you to pay, or tell us to write off part or all of the debt.