Council Tax arrears and debt recovery
Your Council Tax bill tells you how much Council Tax you have to pay for the year and the dates you have to pay it.
If you're on a low income or are entitled to a benefit paid by the Department for Work and Pensions or the Pension Service you may be entitled to Council Tax Support, or you may be able to get a Council Tax discount or exemption.
If you are having difficulty or think you may have difficulty paying your Council Tax, please contact us for advice as soon as possible.
If you haven’t spoken to us about a problem paying your bill, and you miss an instalment, we will ask you for payment. We don't know whether you have made a payment until it actually arrives on your account.
When you don't pay an instalment of Council Tax by the date it is due, we will send you a reminder, asking for payment within seven days. If you still don’t pay, a summons will be issued, which will add costs to your account.
If you pay the amount you owe but you fall behind with your instalments again we will send a second reminder. This gives you seven days to bring your instalments up to date. If you still don’t pay, a summons will be issued, which will add costs to your account.
We can only send a maximum of two reminder notices in any one financial year, so if you pay late a third time you will be sent a final notice for the full amount of Council Tax due for the rest of the year, and you will lose your right to pay in instalments.
The final notice gives you seven days to pay the full amount of Council Tax for the rest of the year. The final notice will tell you how much this will be.
If the Council Tax is not paid after the reminders or final notice have been sent, we will make a complaint to the magistrates court, and a summons will be issued, which will add costs to your account.
If you have difficulty paying your Council Tax at any time, please contact us straight away. We are here to help, but once a summons has been issued the options are limited, and payment arrangements will include costs.
Do you owe Council Tax?
If you owe Council Tax, you can request a payment plan to clear the amount you owe. However, if we agree a payment plan with you and you don’t keep to it, we will take further action to recover the amount you owe.
Text messaging service
We are now using text messages (SMS) to remind residents that their Council Tax and business rates are due. Find out more