Last updated 08.11.23 12:45

Payment Options


You will receive a Summons if you have failed to pay your instalments in accordance with the original demand notice and have received a Reminder and Final Notice but have not made, or kept to, a reasonable payment arrangement with us.

If you receive a Summons, you are required to pay the full balance, including the court costs, before the hearing date.


If you are struggling to pay or feel that the Summons is incorrect you must contact us as soon as possible:

Call: 01268 882298


The Liability Order and Court hearing

If you do not pay the Summons in full or contact us with a valid dispute before the hearing date, we will proceed to court and ask the Magistrate to grant a Liability Order.

If the Court is satisfied that you owe the Council Tax shown on the Summons the Liability Order will be granted and a cost of £97 will be added to your account.

The Liability Order gives us authority to collect the money owed from you, including costs.

Once the Liability Order is granted, we will try to make a payment arrangement with you to collect the money, but if we cannot do this, or you make an arrangement but do not stick to it, we may take one of the following actions instead.


Deductions from wages

We may order your employer to deduct a regular amount from your wages toward your unpaid Council Tax. If this leaves you struggling to pay your bills let us know, we may be able to accept smaller payments.


Deductions from benefits

We may apply to have money deducted from the following benefits:

  • Jobseekers’ Allowance (JSA)
  • Income Support
  • Pension Credit (Guaranteed Credit)
  • Employment Support Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • Universal Credit


Enforcement Agents (also known as Bailiffs)

We may send Enforcement Agents to your home to collect the money you owe or goods to the same value.


Charging Order and Order of Sale

We may place a Charging Order on your home or any property you own, to secure the debt. If you have made a payment arrangement with us but do not stick to it, we may then also apply to the Court for an Order of Sale to force your home and property to be sold.



We may apply for you to be made bankrupt.



We may ask the Magistrates’ Court to summon you to Committal hearing to decide if you should go to prison for not paying your Council Tax.

If you are summoned to a Committal hearing:

  • You must attend unless you pay the total sum due before the hearing date
  • If you fail to attend a warrant may be issued for your arrest


At the hearing

You will be asked to explain why you have not paid your Council Tax.

You will be asked about your income and expenditure to help the court decide whether you are able to pay and if so, what you could afford to pay (this is called a ‘means enquiry’).


The Court decision

The Magistrates will decide whether you have deliberately refused to pay and whether you have been financially able to pay your Council Tax but failed to do so. This is known as ‘wilful refusal and culpable neglect’.

If they find against you, they may:

  • Send you to prison for a period of not more than 3 months.
  • Send you to prison for a period of not more than 3 months but postpone this on condition that you make a payment or regular payments
  • refuse to send you to prison
  • write off all or part of your arrears