Council Tax Reminders and Summons

If you have missed a Council Tax payment, we will send you a reminder which will ask for the payment to be made within seven days.

If a payment is not made within seven days then you will lose the right to pay your Council Tax in instalments. This means that you will need to pay your total, outstanding bill for the year in one go. If payments are still unpaid then a court summons will be issued.

We always aim to settle matters outside of the courts and encourage anyone to contact us as soon as possible if they are having problems paying their Council Tax.

What Is a Summons?

A summons is an order for you to attend a magistrate's court where a hearing will take place to discuss your unpaid Council Tax. However, you do not have to attend in person but any costs from the administration of a court summons will be added to your final Council Tax bill.

If you pay the outstanding amount of Council Tax owed before the court hearing, then no further action will be taken. At the court hearing, a magistrate can issue a liability order to ensure the amount is paid in full.

What Is a Liability Order?

A liability order is a document granted by the magistrate's court that allows the council to collect unpaid Council Tax from you. Unpaid Council Tax can be collected in a variety of ways, for example:

  • by instalments   
  • through an 'attachment of earnings' order - where an amount of your earnings are taken until the outstanding payment is made 
  • by deducting money from your benefits until the outstanding payment is made
  • through an enforcement agency (bailiffs) - any enforcement agency fees and charges will be added to your final bill

What Will Happen if I Still Don't Pay?

If payment cannot be made by the method outlined in the liability order, then further action may be taken against you, this could be: 

  • referring your case to the  ARP Enforcement Agency
  • a charging order - this is an order that secures your debt against your home. You may be forced to sell your home in order to pay your debt with some of the proceeds going towards paying what you owe. Find out more at: Citizens Advice, Charging Orders 
  • insolvency - you could be made bankrupt so your assets can be released and payment towards your debt made   
  • committal - if you are found to be willfully refusing to pay your Council Tax, you can be imprisoned