Council Tax summons
What happens if I have received a summons?
The summons will show the date of the hearing and the amount you owe.
The case will go ahead if you do not pay the amount shown on the summons in full, including the costs, before the date of the hearing.
At the hearing, we will ask for a Liability Order to be granted. The Liability Order allows us to take further steps to recover what you owe.
The cost of making the order is £39 and this is added to what you owe. You must still pay this extra cost even if you have made a payment arrangement.
Whilst you have lost your right to pay by instalments, if you bring your instalments up to date and agree to pay by Direct Debit we may allow you to pay by instalments once more.
You can request a different payment plan/date if this will help with your payments. You will need to set up an online Council Tax account to do this.
The case will still go ahead, but we will not take any further action against you if we have agreed a payment plan and you are making payments by the agreed dates.
You do not need to attend the hearing if you accept that you owe the amount outstanding.
The court cannot take account of your financial situation or discuss payment with you.
If you believe you have already paid, or that someone else is responsible for paying, you should contact us immediately.
View more information on how to pay Council Tax.
What happens after the hearing?
Unless an arrangement is in place, we will send you a letter informing you that we hold a Liability Order. This letter will ask you to either pay the debt in full or contact us to make a suitable payment arrangement within 14 days. The letter also asks you to provide the following information:
- the name and address of your employer
- confirmation of your earnings or expected earnings
- your payroll reference number
- confirmation of any additional income
- details of any other person who is liable for either part or whole of the debt.
Failure to supply the information, or to knowingly supply false information is a criminal offence which will lead to a fine
We use the information you provide to determine the best course of action to take to recover the debt, therefore if you do not provide the information we will have no option but to refer the debt to one of our appointed enforcement agents (bailiffs).
Depending on your circumstances, and the amount you owe, we can enforce the Liability Order by:
- referring the debt to enforcement agents (bailiffs)
- applying for an attachment on your benefit
- applying for an attachment on your earnings
- starting bankruptcy proceedings
- applying for a charging order
- apply for your committal to prison
If we have agreed a payment plan with you, we will only enforce the Liability Order if you miss a payment.