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Paying late or not paying Council Tax

A Council Tax bill shows how much to pay and when payments are due.

If you are having difficulty in keeping up to date with instalments act now, help and advice is available .

If instalments are not paid when they are due, the following notices will be sent:

Reminder Notice

A Reminder Notice shows how much to pay to bring the account up to date.

Only two reminders are sent in any year. Reminder Notices are not issued every month.

You will receive a Final Notice if you:

  • do not pay the amount stated on the Reminder Notice by the due date, or
  • do not agree a payment arrangement, or
  • have already had two Reminders

Final Notice

A Final Notice takes away the right to pay by instalments.

A Summons will be issued if you:


The issue of a Court Summons will add costs of £50.00 (plus £0.50 for additional persons named on the bill) to your account.

A Liability Order will be issued by the Magistrates if you:

Please note that any payment arrangements at this stage will include all costs (including the Liability Order costs).

Court Hearing

The Court hearing allows the Magistrates to consider granting a Liability Order for non payment.

You do not need to attend Court unless you feel that you have been billed incorrectly and have not been able to resolve this with us.

The Magistrates are unable to make payment arrangements or discuss liability disputes.

Liability Order

The granting of a Liability Order will add costs of £45.00 to your account.

A Liability Order gives us the right to recover the debt in a number of ways, including:-

  • Deductions direct from your Earnings or Benefits (Universal Credit, Income Support, Jobseekers Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance)
  • Passing your debt to the Council's appointed Enforcement Agent (Bailiffs)
  • Commencing bankruptcy proceedings against you
  • Obtaining a charging order. If you own your property, we can recover the debt when you sell or remortgage.

To make a payment arrangement at this stage, you will need to complete the Request for Information form sent with the Liability Order detailing your income and outgoings.

Where a payment arrangement is not made, recovery action will continue.

Attachment to Earnings

Your employer will be told to deduct the Council Tax owed from your salary and pay this to the Council. The amounts deducted will depend on your earnings and will continue until the full amount is paid.

By law, your employer must comply with the Attachment of Earnings Order. Once the order is issued, it will not be withdrawn until your debt is cleared. At this stage a payment arrangement will not be made.

Deductions from Benefits

If you are receiving certain benefits, an application will be made to the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) for amounts to be deducted and paid to the Council.

Enforcement Agent Action (Bailiffs)

If no other payment options have been agreed, your debt will be passed to an Enforcement Agent.

At this stage the Council will not make a payment arrangement and you will have to contact the Enforcement Agent to discuss payment of your debt.

Enforcement Agents have the right to remove your goods and sell them to clear your debt if a suitable payment arrangement is not made with them.

As well as the outstanding Council Tax you owe and Court Costs added, the Enforcement Agent will add their statutory fees to your account, further increasing your debt.

Our Corporate Debt Strategy sets out more information about how we collect outstanding debts.