If you are finding it difficult to pay your Council Tax you should contact us immediately online or telephone 0300 123 4510 and ask for the Council Tax section. We may be able to come to an alternative repayment arrangement or you may be entitled to help through the Council Tax Reduction scheme. More information can be found on the Discounts and Reductions page.
Even if you are receiving full Council Tax Benefit you are still due to pay your water and waste water charges detailed on your bill. These should be paid directly to the Council so that you do not incur additional costs.
If you miss one or any part of an instalment you will be sent a first reminder requiring you to bring your instalments completely up to date within seven days. You can only receive two of these first reminders in any financial year. If you do not pay within seven days or have had reminders on two previous occasions you lose the right to pay by instalments and a final notice requiring you to pay the full balance due in 14 days will be issued.
A final notice is issued to each person who is jointly and severally liable for payment of Council Tax. The reason for issuing a final notice to each liable person is to allow further recovery action to be taken where appropriate. If full payment is not made within 14 days, the Council will apply to the Sheriff Court for a summary warrant and once this is obtained a 10% statutory penalty will be added to your account.
A summary warrant is a legal document signed by a Sheriff that authorises recovery of Council Tax Debt by diligence. The Council is not authorised to carry out diligence so if a summary warrant is obtained your account will be passed to the Sheriff Officer for collection.
Recovery of unpaid council tax
If your account is passed to the Sheriff Officer, they will contact you requesting payment. If you do not contact the Sheriff Officer or make payment as agreed then the powers available to them are as follows:
- attachment (legal seizure) of your bank account
- attachment of your wages
- sequestration (bankruptcy)
- attachment of your moveable goods, with the option of selling items at public auction
If the Sheriff Officer takes any of these enforcement measures you will incur additional fees.
If you are in receipt of a relevant benefit from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) i.e. Income Support, Pension Credit, Employment Support Allowance and a summary warrant has been obtained we will apply direct to the DWP to make deductions from your benefit.