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Experiencing difficulties paying your bill or have you missed payments?

Are you experiencing difficulty in paying your Council Tax bill?

If you are on a low income you may be entitled to some help towards your bill via the Council Tax Reduction Scheme (CTRS).

Read more about our Council Tax Reduction Scheme or find out more about other discounts, exemptions and reductions.

If you feel you are going to struggle to make your instalments then please contact us by email or phone 01562 732928.

It is really important that you contact us as soon as possible if you're having difficulty paying your bill. You may be entitled to pay less Council Tax in certain circumstances. You can request to spread your annual bill over 12 instalments instead of 10. 

If you don't pay your Council Tax bill and your account is passed to enforcement agents an immediate fee of £75.00 will be added to the outstanding balance of your account. 

View our Debt Recovery Policy

What happens if you miss a Council Tax payment

Reminders

  • If you miss one instalment a reminder will be issued. If the account is then brought up to date by the deadline on the reminder and the account is kept up to date no further action will be taken.
  • If the reminder is not brought up to date a summons will be issued.
  • If the reminder is brought up to date but further instalments are missed or late a second reminder will be issued. If that is brought up to date by the deadline on the reminder and kept up to date no further action will be taken. However, if the second reminder is not brought up to date a summons will be issued.
  • If the second reminder is brought up to date by the deadline on the reminder but further instalments are missed or late a final notice will be issued.
  • The final notice allows just 7 days to pay the remaining balance due for the year in full (it is not enough just to bring the instalments up to date).  
  • If this is not paid in full within 7 days a summons will be issued.

Read our debt recovery policy.

Summons

  • Any summons issued will be for the balance of the bill outstanding and not just for missed instalments. 
  • The issue of a summons will incur costs of £50.00 and this will be added to the balance due.
  • The summons is to the magistrates court where a liability order will be granted for the balance due and a further £30.00 costs will be added to the bill.
  • A financial enquiry form will be sent out to you. Completing our financial enquiry form is the best way to make an arrangement on your arrears as it gives you an opportunity to show us how much you can afford to pay. Download financial enquiry form.
  • You can complete this form before the court date however the case will still go to court and charges will still be added. 
  • The offer you make on the form will be considered and we will write to you to advise if we have accepted your offer. 

If we have a liability order and you do not make an arrangement with us we will take one of the steps below.

Enforcement agents

  • Instruction of the enforcement agents will immediately result in fee of £75.00 being added to the outstanding balance.
  • Failure at this stage to make an arrangement or pay the balance in full (including fees) could result with an enforcement agent visiting your property and an additional fee of £235.00 being added.
  • If the enforcement agent takes control of your goods for sale then a further charge of £110.00 will be incurred.

Deductions from benefits

If you are on benefit we may be able to take money directly from your benefit to pay the debt. You should let us know which benefit you are on by completing the financial enquiry form.

Deductions from earnings

The liability order gives us the power to ask your employer to take money directly from your earnings. This will be at a statutory percentage and cannot be negotiated.

Bankruptcy and charging order

In certain circumstances we can petition for your bankruptcy or make an application for a charging order against your property.  Both courses of action will involve substantial costs to you and could result in you losing your home. We will clearly notify you if this is our intention and you should seek independent legal advice if this is the action we are going to take. 

Committal to prison

If our enforcement agents have not been able to collect the debt and you have not kept to an arrangement or provided details of your income and expenditure we can apply to court to have you committed to prison. We will clearly notify you if this is the action we are proposing to take.

We will only contact you regarding this feedback.
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