Council tax - payment difficulties
If you are having problems with payment, please contact us. We can discuss a payment scheme. If you are on a low income, you may be able to receive Council Tax Benefit to cover or pay towards your bill.
If your bill is not paid:
- You will be sent a first reminder notice.
- After seven days if you still have not paid, you will be sent a second notice, giving you an additional seven days.
- If you pay after the first letter but at a later date do not pay on time, you will immediately be sent a second reminder notice.
- If you do not pay after the second reminder, you will be sent a final notice. You can no longer pay in instalments and the full balance becomes due within seven days.
- If you still do not pay, a court summons will be issued. The summons gives you notice to appear at the magistrates court on a specified date.
- If you pay the full amount including the court costs before the hearing, no further action will be taken.
- If it goes to court, we will apply for a liability order for the amount due. There will be further court costs.
Please call us to discuss a settlement scheme before the hearing date. After the hearing, we send you a letter to confirm that the liability order has been obtained and details of what we will do to collect your Council Tax. A form is sent with the letter. You are legally required to fill out this form, providing financial information. It also gives you the option to put forward a proposal for payment.
If payment is still not received:
- Your account may be passed to the bailiff for collection. You will be notified of the costs this incurs.
- We can serve an attachment of earnings order on your employer instructing them to make deductions from your net wages and send the money to us.
- We can serve an attachment for deductions from Income Support or Jobseeker's Allowance if you receive them.
- We can take committal proceedings against you. A committal notice is sent to you. You must make arrangements to clear the debt, including any costs incurred, or attend a hearing (this includes court and bailiff costs). If you fail to do so, you can be committed to prison by the magistrates court.
- In exceptional circumstances, we can place a charging order against a property. This would mean that the Council Tax debt will be taken from the sale of your property.