What happens if I don't pay?
Contact us as soon as you get into arrears.
We understand that you might be late paying for a reason.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will try to help you if we can.
Free debt advice
You may be eligible to claim a benefit: visit our benefits section.
What happens if I don't pay?
If you don't pay an instalment on or before the day it is due, we will send you a reminder notice.
You must make sure you make the requested payment immediately.
If we don't receive the payment within seven days of the date of the reminder, you will lose your right to pay by instalments; you must pay the entire year's bill in full within a further seven days otherwise a summons can be issued.
If, after receiving a reminder and then paying off that instalment within seven days, you then fall into arrears on another instalment, you will be sent a Second Reminder Notice.
This will be your final chance, no further reminders will be issued throughout the Council Tax year.
If you fail to pay this within seven days, you will lose the right to pay by instalments without any further notice. You will then be issued a summons if you fail to pay the balance in full for the entire year after 14 days from the Second Reminder.
If, after receiving two reminders and paying off the instalments as requested, you fall into arrears for a third time, a Final Notice will be issued demanding the entire balance for the year is settled in full.
You have already lost your right to pay by instalments, and if the entire year's balance is not paid within seven days a summons will be issued.
If you receive any of the above notices and fail to make the payment demanded, the Council will apply to the local Magistrates' Court for a Summons to be issued against you.
The issue of a Summons will also incur costs; these are added to your account when the Summons is issued and must be paid in addition to the outstanding balance of your Council Tax.
Court costs are £95 - this will be added to your bill when a summons is issued.
You can discuss a way to pay the Summons, and you should either return the form enclosed with the Summons, or email email@example.com.
If you have any queries regarding the Summons, please contact us immediately.
Failure to pay the balance demanded in full before the Court hearing date on the summons will result in the Council making an application to the Court for a Liability Order.
The cost of a liability order is £28 - this will be added to your bill, in addition to the summons costs of £95
Obtaining the Liability Order will incur further costs against you, and gives the Council powers to do one or more of the following:
- We can instruct a bailiff to collect the debt, which will incur you further costs
- We can contact your employer to arrange for them to take the money you owe from your salary each month
- We can arrange for the money that you owe to be taken from your income support and other state benefits, if you claim them.
- In certain cases we could have a charge put on your property, forcing it to be sold.
- We could begin legal proceedings to have you sent to prison for up to 90 days if a further Court hearing find you have not paid the Council Tax due to wilful refusal or culpable neglect.
To avoid any of the above actions being taken, please ensure your Council Tax is paid on time.
If, however, you do get into difficulty please contact us immediately.
Read more about our Council Tax collection guidance.