Enforcement agents

Enforcement agents (formerly known as bailiffs)

From 6 April 2014, we can instruct an enforcement agent to collect outstanding council tax and business rates debt from you if a liability order has been issued in your name.

We will do this either if you have not made, or not kept to an agreed repayment plan, or you have not completed and returned the personal information form sent to you.

The enforcement agent will contact you to arrange payment either in full or by installments. You must answer their letters, emails or calls and arrange payment.

If your debt has been passed to an enforcement agent you will incur a fixed fee of £75 for each liability order when they issue a letter to you by post.

Any payments or offers of repayment should then be made to the enforcement agent and not the council.

What happens if the enforcement agent can't collect the money owed

If the enforcement agent can’t collect what you owe and there are not enough goods to take to cover the amount owed, we may:

  • commence insolvency proceedings through the County Court to make you bankrupt
  • apply to the County Court for a charging order on your property that allows 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
  • as a last resort, we may apply for a warrant of commitment to send you to prison - this means you will have to attend court to explain your financial circumstances and reasons why you have not paid. If you do not go to court you will be arrested and brought to court. If you are found guilty, you could face a prison sentence of up to 90 days

Bailiffs - related links