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Difficulty paying your bill

What to do if you receive a reminder, court summons or liability order.

Reminder notices

If you don't pay an instalment on time, you will receive a reminder notice. If you can pay the amount owed&nbsp within 14 working days, no further action will be taken. If you don't pay within this time, or you pay only part of what is owed, we'll send you a summons to court and you'll be asked to pay the full year's balance.

We will only send two reminders in any financial year (April to April) before a final notice or summons is issued.

Final notices

If you don't pay on time for the third time in the financial year, we'll send you a final notice. This will ask you to pay the full year's charge within 7 days.

Summons and court hearings

If you don't pay after a reminder or final notice, a summons will be sent to you. You'll be summoned to court to explain why the council tax hasn't been paid. Costs of £60 will be added to the unpaid council tax bill.

You can avoid going to court if you can:

  • pay the full amount shown on the summons, including costs
  • Contact us before the court date to make a payment arrangement. You can phone us on 0345 605 3010 or e-mail us.

Liability orders

At the court hearing, we'll ask the magistrate to issue a liability order, which gives us more power to help collect the money that you owe. If we obtain a liability order, you will be charged an extra £35.

If you still don't pay

There are a number of options we can consider to collect the money that is owed.

These include:

  • passing the debt to an enforcement agency (bailiffs)
  • taking what is owed from your wages or benefits on a weekly or monthly basis
  • apply a charging order against a property you own
  • take action to make you bankrupt
  • apply to the court to take you to prison if all other efforts have failed