Failure to pay your Council Tax

If you get behind with your payments we will send you a reminder showing how much you need to pay to bring your account up to date. We will not issue any more than two reminders in each financial year. If you do not pay, or you bring your account up to date but fail to make future payments on time, you will lose the right to pay by instalments, a final notice will be issued and the full charge will become due.

If this happens and you do not pay the full charge, a summons will be issued and costs of £70 will be added to your account.  At the Magistrate's Court, we will apply for a Liability Order and we will charge further costs of £20 to your account.

A liability order gives us further powers to collect the debt including attachment of earnings orders and attachment of benefits orders, where money that you owe is taken from earnings or benefits that you receive. We can also instruct an enforcement agent to collect outstanding Council Tax debt from you if a liability order has been issued in your name. We will do this if you have not made, or not stuck to an agreed repayment plan, or if you have not completed and returned the request for information form sent to you. The enforcement agent will contact you to arrange payment in full or by instalments. You must answer the agent's letters, emails or calls and arrange payment.

If your debt is passed to an enforcement agent you will incur a fixed compliance fee of £75 for each liability order outstanding, and they will issue an enforcement notice to you. Any payments or offers of repayment should then be made to the enforcement agent and not the council.

Enforcement visit

If you do not arrange to pay the enforcement agent, or arrange to make payment and then do not pay as agreed, they will visit you. If they visit there is a fixed enforcement fee of £235 plus 7.5% of any balance owed over £1,500. The enforcement agent will normally ask you for payment in full. However if you are unable to do this they may make a repayment arrangement with you.

Controlled Goods Agreement

The enforcement agent may enter into a Controlled Goods Agreement where the agent makes a list of your possessions that is equal in value to your debt. If your possessions are subject to a Controlled Goods Agreement, you cannot dispose of or sell them without the agent's permission. If you do not sign the Controlled Goods Agreement the agent can take your possessions while they are at the property.

Sale and removal of goods

If you do not pay as agreed and you have signed a Controlled Goods Agreement, the enforcement agent may enter your property, by force if necessary, to take the goods listed. If goods have to be removed and sold there are additional costs of £110 plus 7.5% of any balance due above £1,500. There may also be extra costs to pay for, such as locksmiths and auctioneers fees relating to the sale of the goods. If the enforcement agent believes that there are insufficient goods to clear the debt, we will then consider other recovery options such as bankruptcy, a charging order against your property, or applying for your committal to prison.