Problems paying?

What happens if you don't pay

If you pay late we will send you a reminder, advising you to bring your instalments up to date, if you fail to do this, you will lose your right to pay by instalments and the full balance will fall due.

We will only send you two reminders in the year, if you fail to pay on time a third time, you will lose your right to pay by instalments immediately.

You must then pay the full balance outstanding and if you do not pay this we will send you a summons to appear in the Magistrates Court, for which you will incur additional costs.

The magistrate will grant a liability order if the full amount on the summons including costs remains unpaid.

The magistrate cannot decide whether you are the correct liable person or make any decisions about your council tax benefit or your entitlement to a discount or exemption.

These are matters which must be dealt with via the appeal process and you must continue to pay pending resolution.

A liability order enables us to collect the unpaid council tax from you via:

  • deductions from your benefit: Income Support, Job Seekers Allowance, Employment Support Allowance or Pension Credit
  • deductions direct from your salary from your employer
  • appointing enforcement agents (previously known as bailiffs) to remove and sell your possessions. This may lead to additional fees being incurred, which came into effect on 6 April 2014:
    • a compliance fee of £75.00 which is payable on receipt of a liability order being passed to the enforcement agents for collection
    • an enforcement fee of £235.00 which is payable when the enforcement agent visits the property
    • for debts above £1,500 a fee of 7.5% is applied to the value of the debt which is higher than £1,500
    • a sale fee is charged if goods are removed for sale.
  • commencing insolvency proceedings through the County Court to make you bankrupt
  • 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
  • as a method of last resort, we may apply for a warrant of commitment to send you to prison.