Council tax billing and reminders
Bills are issued with a monthly payment plan to be paid by the 1st of each month - or for Direct Debit customers either the 1st or 18th of the month.
If you have trouble keeping up with payments you should contact us. We may be able to offer you a special payment arrangement, or you may qualify for a benefit or reduction.
Stages of reminders and when a summons is issued
- If a payment is not received within 7 days we will send you a Reminder Letter. (You will only get two Reminder Letters in a year before being issued a Final Reminder for the full outstanding annual amount.)
- The Reminder will ask you to bring the account up to date, including payment of the next installment. If the amount on the reminder is not paid within 7 days, the whole outstanding amount for the year becomes payable. You then have a further 7 days to pay off the whole outstanding annual amount.
- If the whole amount for the year is not received after this second period of 7 days, a Magistrates’ Court Summons can be issued. The cost of the summons (currently £70) is added to the outstanding Council Tax debt. This will give you a date for a hearing. If you want to talk to us about your account, please contact us before the hearing date.
- At the hearing the court can issue a Liability Order, which confirms that further recovery action can be taken.
- The cost of the Liability Order (currently £25) will be added to the outstanding Council Tax debt.
Magistrates' Court action will not affect your credit rating.
Recovery action will then follow - this can include:
- Deductions taken directly from your salary.
- Deductions made directly from some state benefits.
- A payment arrangement that allows you to catch up with payment.
- Bailiffs: The bailiff will try to make a payment arrangement with you. If this fails, your goods can be taken to clear the debt. The bailiff is also allowed to charge you extra fees on top of the amount you owe to the council.