If you have problems paying your council tax, you should contact us. We may be able to :-
- change the payment date
- extend the instalments
- change the payment method (you can arrange to pay by direct debit on line)
- check to see if you are entitled to any discounts, exemptions, disabled relief or other help with your council tax.
We may need details of your income and outgoings. It would be helpful if you could have this information to hand when you contact us.
What happens if you don't pay your council tax?
If you don't pay your council tax on time, we will send you a reminder notice around two to three weeks after the instalment was due. If you do not bring your payments up to date and make further payments on time, you will lose the right to pay by instalments and the full amount left for the year will become due.
Contact us immediately if you have received a reminder and are unable to pay
What happens if you still don't pay?
If the full amount is not paid, a court summons may be sent and you will incur costs of £100.00. Contact us immediately if you are unable to pay the full amount including costs before the hearing date.Applications for help with yout council tax, discounts, exemptions or appeals against charges will not stop proceedings.
Where two or more people are responsible for paying the charge a court summons will be sent to each person named on the account.
We will then apply to the Magistrates Court for a liability order if the full summons amount, including costs is not paid before the hearing date
Council tax - liability order
We will let you know if the Court grants us a liability order and also ask you to complete a form about your
financial position. If you do not complete the form you could be fined up to £1000.
A liability order gives the Council the power to demand information about your earnings and employment. Various steps can then be taken to recover your debt, details of which are given below:-
This is an order sent to your employer to deduct a percentage of your pay. Your employer will pay this amount to the council tax office to reduce the amount of arrears.
Employers can charge £1.00 towards adminstration costs for each deduction made.
If you have received an attachment to your earnings or you are an employer who has been asked to make deductions from an employees earnings, it may help you to read our attachment of earnings guide, under downloads.
- Deductions from DWP benefits
An attachment of benefits can be applied if you are in receipt of the following DWP benefits:-
- Income Support
- Job Seekers Allowance (income based)
- Employment and Support Allowance (income related)
- Pension Credit - Guarantee Credit
An application may be made to the DWP to make a weekly deduction each week from these benefits. The DWP will pay this amount to the council tax office to reduce the amount of arrears.
If all other attempts to reach a payment arrangement fail then the debt will be passed to our bailiffs to collect. Any action taken by a bailiff on our behalf is controlled by our Code of Conduct.
Bailiffs can take goods from your home to clear the arrears and will charge extra costs for their services.
- Bailiff first visit - £24.50
- Bailiff second visit - £18.00
- Bailiff enforcement visit with the intention to remove goods - £140.00
What happens if you have still not paid your council tax?
If the bailiffs are unsuccessful we can apply to the Magistrates' Court to commence committal proceedings. This will incur additional costs of:-
- Committal summons - £240.00
- Warrant with bail - £125.00
- Warrant without bail - £155
Bankruptcy and charging orders
We may also commence proceedings to make you bankrupt or apply for a charging order to be placed on your property.
You will incur further costs if either course of action is taken.
Times are displayed in a 24 hour format.