Reminder & Summons
Text, email & voicemail reminder
If you fall behind with your Council Tax payments and have provided contact details, text messages, emails or voicemails will be sent to remind you that your payment is overdue. If you do not pay the council tax which is owed, then the next step is for formal, legal notices to be sent out as detailed below:
We will send you a reminder notice around two weeks after the payment was due.
If you do not bring your payments up to date, you may be summonsed which will incur costs.
Please remember that only two reminder notices can be sent out each year. If you are late paying for a third time a Final Notice will be issued.
We will send you a final notice on the third time that you miss a payment. A final notice means that you will lose the right to pay by monthly instalments and all of the year’s council tax falls due immediately. If you do not pay the full amount a Summons for non-payment of council tax will be issued. Once a final notice has been issued, just paying your latest missing instalment will not prevent a Summons being issued for the rest of the yearly charge. If you cannot pay the whole year’s charge within 14 days you should contact us immediately.
Why have I received a summons?
The summons has been issued because you have not paid the amounts due in accordance with the bills and notices that have been sent to you or your payments have been received late.
Where two or more people are responsible for paying the charge a court summons will be sent to each person named on the account.
If the amount due on the summons, including the costs of £92.50, is not paid in full before the hearing date, an application will be made for a liability order. This gives the council statutory powers to enforce payment of the debt.
These powers include:
» requesting income details
» taking money directly from your earnings
» taking money directly from your benefit
» sending your case to enforcement agents (bailiffs)
» applying for a charging order on your property, which gives the council the option to force its sale
» applying to make you bankrupt
» applying to the magistrates for your committal to prison
What if I can pay in full?
If you pay in full before the hearing date, including the costs, no further action is required.
What if I cannot pay in full?
If you cannot pay in full, but can pay in instalments, please complete our payment arrangement form.
Any arrangement entered into will be based on the liability order being obtained and enforcement action being suspended whilst the agreed payments are being made.
What if I have a pending claim for Council Tax Support or a discount?
The magistrates are required by law to grant a liability order. The fact there is an application pending is not considered to be a valid defence.
Do I need to attend the court hearing?
No. There is no requirement that you attend the hearing unless you have a valid defence. The magistrates cannot make a decision on how the debt is to be paid. By law, they can only decide whether a liability order should be granted or not. If there is no valid defence they should grant the order.
Please note the council has no facilities at the court to be able to deal with account queries. You should contact us before the hearing to resolve any outstanding issues or discuss payment.