We have been made aware that some business are receiving emails from rating agents offering a free assessment to see if you have been overcharged business rates due to  the 2017 revaluation. Ratepayers do not have to be represented in these discussions regarding their rateable value of their rates bill which can be done directly with the Valuation Office Agency or by contacting the business rates office. 

If you do decide to employ a rates adviser then you should check they have the necessary knowledge and expertise as well as appropriate indemnity insurance.

Your recovery questions answered

Whilst we have attempted to cover the majority of queries regarding our recovery process, please contact the council Recovery team if you would like further information.

Receiving a court summons

What shall I do if I paid recently?

If you have paid the full amount for the year please call or email us to check we have received your payment.

What shall I do if I am unable to pay in full?

Please contact us to make an arrangement. This will include the court costs. We will ask the court for a Liability Order, but further recovery action will be stopped as long as you keep to this arrangement.

Do I have to attend the court hearing?

If you don't attend we will still apply for a Liability Order, which may be granted in your absence. You may prefer to attend the court hearing if you feel that you should not pay. However, it is quicker, easier and cheaper to contact us to sort this out before the court hearing.

The Court Hearing is to determine your liability to pay. The two legal defences are :

  • If you have not been billed correctly, in line with the Non Domestic Rating Regulations 1989
  • If you have proof that you have paid the bill

If either of the above applies, please contact the office and your case may not have to go to court.

If you do not think you owe the amount shown on the summons please contact us straight away. Do not wait until the court hearing.

What is a Liability Order?

A Liability Order allows Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council to take further recovery action.

What happens if I attend court?

A member of court staff directs you to the courtroom. We will also be there to help. The court will try to deal with your case on time. If there is not enough time your hearing may be changed to a later date.
After hearing both sides, the court will decide whether or not to grant a Liability Order.

What should I do if I need an interpreter?

Please contact us before the hearing. You may bring your own interpreter. However, this should not be a child.

Can I bring a friend to represent me at court?

Only the magistrate at the hearing can agree to someone speaking for you.

I cannot attend the court hearing on the date shown on my summons but I want to appear in court.

You can make a request to the court in writing to adjourn your case, well before the hearing date. You should tell the court why you are unable to attend and give them some idea of when you will be available. The magistrates will consider your request at the court hearing.

What happens if I have moved premises?

If you have not told us yet, please contact us before the court hearing.

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