Arrears and summons

Council Tax is payable on the 1st of each month, unless opting to pay by direct debit in which case the 5th, 15th and 25th are available or weekly each Friday.

Failure to pay Council Tax as shown on your bill will result in a reminder notice being issued. If instalments are brought up to date, the Council Tax payer can continue with their instalments allocated on their demand notice. If they then again fall into arrears, they will receive a further reminder notice. Again if they bring their instalment up to date within the required time, the charge payer will be entitled to continue with their original instalments. However if they again fall into arrears, they will receive a Final notice, removing their right to pay by instalments and the full balance will become due immediately.

Two reminders notices only will be issued in one financial year.

If at any time a reminder notice is issued and the instalments are not brought up to date, the charge payer's right to pay by instalment is removed, a summons is issued and minimum costs are incurred totalling £100.00. No further costs will be incurred at this stage.

How can the charge payer avoid Court proceedings

The total amount stated on the application must be paid (including costs)before the court hearing. Please note that postal payments or those paid at a bank, Post Office or Payzone outlet can take 7-10 days to reach the Council so time must be allowed when using these payment methods. You can also use our automated telephone payment system which is the same as paying us over the phone.

Ways to pay


What will happen if payment is not received prior to the hearing date

A Liability Order will be sought by the Council. There is no need for the charge payer to attend the court if they have had prior contact with a member of the Recovery Team and an arrangement has been entered into. However, if they do wish to attend the hearing they are entitled to do so. Further costs may be incurred when the liability order is obtained.

After a Liability Order has been obtained

Further recovery action can then be taken including an attachment to benefit if the debtor is on Universal Credit (UC) and also Employment Support Allowance (ESA) Income Support (IS), Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) or Pension Credits. An Attachment to Earnings can be requested for those in employment.

The account may also be referred to the Enforcement Agents, for them to collect the outstanding balance on behalf of the Authority.  When an account has been referred to the bailiffs, the Authority will not intervene.

If none of the above methods prove successful in recovering the debt the matter may be referred back to the magistrates' court for it to consider a prison sentence of up to ninety days.