Who pays Council Tax

What happens if you do not pay your Council Tax or Business Rates

If you do not pay we will send you a reminder or final notice.

This means:

  • you will lose your right to pay by instalments
  • you may be summoned to appear in a Magistrates' Court
  • court costs may be added to what you owe.

What happens at court

At court we will apply for liability order, which confirms who is liable to pay.

  • You do not have to attend the court if you have made a payment arrangement with us before the court date.
  • You must attend court if you wish to oppose the order.

There are two valid reasons which the court would consider:

  •  you have not been billed correctly
  •  you can prove the bill has been paid

What happens if a liability order is issued

If the court decides you are responsible for paying and you have not paid in full, they can issue a liability order.

You should contact us to make an arrangement to pay.

If you do not contact us, or we cannot agree how you will pay, we will try to collect the money through either:

  • taking it out of your benefits or wages
  • asking Enforcement Agents to collect the debt by removing and selling some of your possessions
  • starting insolvency proceedings through the High Court
  • applying to the County Court for a charging order on your property so we can sell it

You will also be charged fees for the court summons and liability order.

What happens if we instruct Enforcement Agents

If we instruct an Enforcement Agent (bailiffs) we will write to tell you about the extra costs charged to you if Enforcement Agents are instructed to collect the debt.

Any payments, or offers of repayment, should then be made to the Enforcement Agent and not to us.

If you still do not pay

If you still do not pay we can return to court.

The court may decide to send you to prison, order you to pay, or tell us to write off part or all of the debt.

Council Tax support

If you are on a low income or get Universal Credit, you can apply for council tax support.

Apply for Council Tax support

Need free independent advice on your finances?

Citizens Advice can confidentiality discuss your income and expenditure and advise you on how best to manage your finances.

Visit Citizens Advice website