Pay your Council tax

Failure to pay your Council tax

If you do not pay your council tax bill, you could be summoned to court and liable for costs.

The Council will notify you of any missed payments and try to recover funds according to the steps outlined below.

If you are experiencing financial difficulties and cannot afford to pay your council tax, you should request a new payment arrangement immediately.

You can also email the Council or seek independent advice through Citizens Advice on 03444 111 444.

Please be aware that only three reminders are issued per year. Failure to pay after the second reminder will result in you losing your right to pay monthly.

 

First missed instalment

If a monthly instalment is overdue, a reminder notice is issued for the amount owed (the arrears).

If payment of the arrears, and any other instalments that become due, are made within seven days your instalments can continue. 

If you do not pay the arrears on time, or contact the council to set up a payment arrangement, you will lose the right to pay monthly and must pay the total balance on your council tax account.

 

Second missed instalment

If you paid the arrears on your first reminder in full, but you are late paying another instalment, a second reminder will be issued.

If payment of the arrears, and any other instalments that become due, are made within seven days you can continue with your monthly payment plan.

If you do not pay the arrears on time, or contact the council to set up a payment arrangement, you will lose the right to pay monthly and must pay the total balance on your council tax account.

Failure to do so may result in a summons for non-payment being issued. You will not receive a further reminder.

 

Final notice

If a third instalment is missed under the same tax year, the total balance on your council tax account becomes due and a final notice is issued.

If this is not paid within seven days, and you have not contacted the council to set up a payment arrangement, a summons for non-payment may be issued.

 

Court summons

If you have not paid within seven days of receiving the final notice, or you have not contacted the Council to set up a payment arrangement, you will receive a summons for failing to pay your council tax. 

However, in some circumstances a summons may be issued after one reminder.

Court costs of £57.50 will also be added to your bill.  If you pay the total amount listed on the summons, the case will not go before the magistrates' court.

 

Liability order

If the amount shown on the summons is not paid in full by the court date, or you have not contacted the Council to set up a payment arrangement, the Council will apply to the magistrates' court for a liability order. 

An order will be granted if the court is satisfied that the Council has followed the correct procedures in recovering payment of the council tax.

This action will incur costs of £20 in addition to the £57.50 summons costs already added.

It could also result in any of the following:

  • funds taken out of your wages
  • enforcement agents visit your home
  • a reduction in your benefits
  • insolvency
  • a charging order on your home
  • committal to prison