I’m finding it difficult to pay my Council Tax
There is help available and many flexible ways that you can pay your Council Tax bill. For more information on ways to pay and payment dates see Paying your Council Tax.
If you are struggling to pay because you live alone, are living with a disability or feel your situation means you should be eligible for a concession, then take a look at our Discounts and Exemptions page to see if you could receive money off of your bill.
If you are struggling to pay your council tax because you are looking for work or education opportunities, please follow the advice below, however we also had advice to help you to seek work or education opportunities on our website.
If you cannot pay your Council Tax on time or are struggling to pay, don’t delay, contact us as soon as you can. We will do all we can to help you.
- You can request your instalments to be spread over the remaining months until March 2024 by completing our online form. You need to have a My Account with upgraded access in order to complete the form. If you already have a basic account, sign in to request upgraded access. If you do not have an account, register now. Once you have signed into your account, simply select 'My Council Tax' and the option to 'Request to spread payments'
- Alternatively, you can request a call from one of our Connect Team or call 0300 123 2224 to speak to one of our advisors
If you want to find out if you may be entitled to Council Tax Support, visit our Council Tax support page.
If you have problems paying more than just you Council Tax bill, then you may want to consider contacting the organisations below. They will try to work out a way in which to help you.
- Age UK - 0800 055 6112
- Community Legal Service - 0345 345 4345
- Citizens Advice Bureau - 0345 404 0506
Reminders, final notice and summons
If you fail to pay your Council Tax instalments on time, certain steps are taken to recover the money. We won’t just send you a reminder each time you pay late. If you keep paying late you will lose your right to pay by instalments and the whole balance on your account must be paid in full.
The reminder process is shown below:
If you don’t bring your account up to date when you get a reminder or pay in full when you get a final notice you move straight to the summons stage.
Ross and Roberts act on our behalf to collect unpaid Council Tax.
We can instruct an enforcement agent to collect an unpaid council tax debt from you if a liability order has been issued in your name.
We may do this if:
- You have not made an agreed repayment plan.
- You have made an agreed repayment plan but not kept to it.
Stages of Enforcement
If we pass your unpaid debt to an enforcement agent, you will have to pay a fixed fee of £75. This will apply to each Liability Order we send them.
The enforcement agent will send you a Notice of Enforcement and you will have 7 days to pay in full. We advise that you respond immediately.
If you are unable to pay in full, the enforcement agent may agree for the debt to be repaid by instalments.
Any payments or offers of payment should be made directly to the enforcement agent, not to us.
As well as the Notice of Enforcement, the enforcement agent may also contact you by email, text, letter or phone. It is important that you do not ignore these as, otherwise, they will progress to the enforcement stage and an enforcement agent will visit. You then risk losing your belongings and will face additional fees.
If an enforcement agent visits, you will have to pay a further fixed fee of £235 plus 7.5% of any money owed over £1,500.
If you are unable to pay in full, the enforcement agent can either take control of your goods or enter into an acceptable agreement for you to repay the money owed, including their costs.
They will make a list of your goods that cover the amount of your debt. If your goods are included on a Controlled Goods Agreement you cannot dispose of or sell them without the enforcement agent’s permission.
There are certain goods that are exempt from being included on a Controlled Goods Agreement, including:
- Items necessary for your basic domestic needs and members of your household.
- Items or equipment which are necessary for use in employment, business, trade or study, up to the value of £1,350. Above this, the exemption does not apply.
If you refuse to sign the Controlled Goods Agreement, the enforcement agent can take your goods whilst they are at your property.
If you do not pay as agreed and you have signed a Controlled Goods Agreement, the enforcement agent may enter your property, by force if necessary, to take the goods listed.
If this happens you will be charged a fixed fee of £110 plus 7.5% of any balance due. You may also have to pay additional costs for the sale of your goods.
It is an offence to stop an enforcement agent from carrying out their duties.
If the enforcement agent can't recover sufficient goods to cover the amount owed, or if they cannot gain entry to the property, then the debt will be returned to us and we will have to consider other recovery options. These options include bankruptcy, committal to prison or a charging order against your property.
The Ministry of Justice has issued national guidelines for all enforcement agents that sets out what the Ministry of Justice, those in the industry and some major users regard as minimum standards.
It does not replace local agreements, existing agency codes of practice or legislation.
Report an issue with an enforcement agent
You should direct any concerns or issues to the enforcement agent.
If you are dissatisfied with their response, let us know by emailing us and we will deal with your complaint in line with our complaints procedure.