Reminders, summons and enforcement agents
We need you to ensure that you pay your Council Tax on time. We can take actions to recover revenue if you do not pay your Council Tax.
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We will send you a reminder if you pay your Council Tax late.
If you do not bring your instalments up to date, you will lose your right to pay by instalments and the full amount will become due. We will only send you 2 reminders in the year.
If you fail to pay on time a third time, you will lose your right to pay by instalments and you will need to pay the full balance.
If you fail to pay the full balance, you will be liable to pay costs and a summons will be sent to you to appear in the magistrates’ court.
If you do not pay the amount due on the summons including the costs, we will ask the magistrate to grant a liability order at a hearing. A liability order enables us to recover the amount you owe using recovery actions.
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Recovery actions we can take against you include:
- Deductions from your benefit, such as Income Support, Job Seekers Allowance, Employment Support Allowance or Pension Credit
- Deductions direct from your salary from your employer
- Appointing enforcement agents to remove and sell your possessions (you will be liable to pay additional fees)
- Making you bankrupt in the county court (you will be liable to pay additional fees, which can be substantial)
- Applying for a charging order at the county court so that we can force the sale of your home to repay your Council Tax (you will be liable to pay additional fees)
- Apply for a warrant of commitment to send you to prison for up to 90 days
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You do not need to attend the liability order hearing if you have been sent a summons. Contact us so that we can try and help you.
If you choose to attend court, please be aware that the magistrate cannot make decisions on certain matters. The magistrate cannot decide on whether you are the correct liable person, they cannot make any decision about your Council Tax support or make any decision about your entitlement to a discount or exemption.
These are matters which must be dealt with via the appeal process and you must continue to pay Council Tax until a decision has been made.
Find out more about appeals against Council Tax decisions.