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Council tax recovery

Stages of recovery

If you fall behind with your payments, or you are paying late, we will send you a reminder. This gives you seven days to pay.

If you bring your account up to date, but fall behind again, we will send you a second reminder. We will only send a maximum of two reminders in any financial year.

If you don't pay or don't keep to an arrangement to pay, you will lose the right to pay in instalments and we will send you a Final Notice. The full year's council tax becomes due.

The next stage is to issue you with a court summons. The court will grant a liability order to grant the council other options to recover this type of debt.

Please note that you can make an arrangement with the Council at any stage of the recovery process. You may be asked to supply details of your income and outgoings to help us make an arrangement that you can afford.

Liability orders

If we have a liability order, we will ask you to provide information about your employment and income.

A liability order gives the council powers to collect the debt in various ways. At this stage, we may still agree a special payment with you rather than use the liability order. If you break the arrangement, we will take further action.

With a liability order we can:

  • Make an attachment of earnings order. We will require certain information to be provided. You are legally required to provide this information. It will include your work details. We will instruct your employer to take money from your earnings to pay your council tax arrears.
  • Make deductions from Universal credit, Income Support, ESA, GPC or JSA. Money can be taken from your Income Support or income-based Job Seekers Allowance.
  • Make a Charging Order. If you owe us more than £1,000 and you own your own home, a charge can be placed on your property.
  • Employ Enforcement Agents to collect the debt. The charges involved are set out in legislation. They can be considerable and you will be liable to pay them. The Enforcement Agents will ask our advice if they find the liability order has been issued against someone who cannot pay due to their vulnerability.

Last updated 26 May 2022