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What happens if you don't pay?


If you fail to bring your payments up to date in line with a reminder notice or final notice, we will refer your account to the Magistrates Court's and ask them to grant a liability order allowing us to take further action to collect the outstanding debt.

A summons for non-payment of council tax will be sent to everyone named on your bill. The summons contains the court hearing date and details of the amount outstanding, including court costs of £72.50, which are also payable by you.  

The purpose of the hearing is to confirm:

  • that you are the person liable to pay the council tax
  • that you havent made payments in accordance with the times and dates detailed on the reminder notice/final notice and
  • that the council tax bill and reminder/final notice was sent to you at the correct time

However, the purpose of the hearing is not for you to tell the Magistrates about your financial circumstances, and you do not have to attend unless you want to.    

If you receive a summons, then to avoid further action being taken you can:

  • pay the full amount of the summons, including the court costs, before the date of the court hearing. If you do this the court case will be discontinued and no further action taken
  • pay the outstanding amount in line with the instalments on the summons. If you do this we will still obtain the liability order, but wont take any further action as long as you keep up with the instalment payments. You do not have to contact us to start paying the instalments detailed on the summons
  • complete an income and expenditure form so we can consider making an arrangement to pay in instalments over an extended period. Before we do this we will ask for your income/employment details