What will happen if you do not pay
If you do not pay your Council Tax, or pay late, you may be subject to recovery proceedings.
If you don’t pay your Council Tax as shown in your Council Tax demand we will send you a 1st Reminder Notice. The 1st Reminder Notice will tell you the amount you have to pay in order to bring your account up to date. You must pay the amount shown on the 1st Reminder Notice within 7 days of the date shown on the Reminder. If you do not pay the amount due you will be issued with a Final Notice.
If you make payment as required by the 1st Reminder Notice but then miss a later instalment you will be sent a 2nd Reminder Notice. The 2nd Reminder Notice will tell you the amount you have to pay in order to bring your account up to date. You must pay the amount shown on the 2nd Reminder Notice within 7 days of the date shown on the Reminder. If you do not pay the amount due you will be issued with a Final Notice.
Only 2 reminders can be sent in a financial year between 1 April and 31 March.
If you receive a Council Tax Final Notice you will be expected to pay the outstanding balance for the entire year’s Council Tax within 7 days of the date shown on the Final Notice..
If you do not pay the Council Tax demanded in a reminder or final notice you may be summoned before the Magistrates Court. This will add a cost of £65 to your account. The summons will include a court hearing date. If the amount due (including the extra cost) is fully paid before the court hearing date then there will be no further action.
If you cannot pay the full amount due before the court hearing date you do not need to attend court. We will ask the court to grant a liability order for the debt. This will add another cost of £30 to your account.
To set up a special payment arrangement to pay the remaining balance over instalments please contact us immediately. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with details of your repayment proposal.
An extra £30 in costs will be added to your Council Tax account if a Liability Order is issued. A liability order gives the Council various ways to recover the Council Tax debt, these are explained below.
You do not have to attend the Court Hearing however if you do attend please note that the following are not legal defences against the issue of a liability order:
- You cannot afford to pay
- You have a claim for Council Tax support pending
- You have not been granted a discount
- The property should be exempt
- The person summoned should be exempt
- You disagree with the band you have been put in
The Council only have to prove to the Court that notices have been sent to you, not that they have been received by you.
If you have received a liability order and have not already set up a payment arrangement please contact us immediately. Email email@example.com with details of your repayment proposal.
The Liability Order gives us the right to recover the debt through the following ways:
The Council may decide to instruct an Enforcement Agent to collect the debt, should the Council do so the law allows for fees to be charged.
These are detailed in the table below.
Enforcement agent charges
|Recovery stage||Enforcement charges|
|Enforcement agent visit to take control of goods||£235 + if the debt is above £1,500, 7.5% of the amount above £1,500|
|Enforcement visit to remove goods||£110 + if the debt is above £1,500, 7.5% of the amount above £1,500|
Where removal and sale takes place
|Storage costs||Actual costs|
|Locksmiths costs||Actual costs|
|Any relevant court application fees||Actual fees|
Auctioneers costs where the sale is held on the auctioneers premises
|Auctioneers commission||Not exceeding 15% of the sum realised|
|Auctioneers out of pocket expenses||Actual costs|
|Reasonable advertising costs||Actual costs|
|Internet auction costs||Actual costs|
|In some circumstances exceptional costs will apply||Agreed by court|
The Council employs the services of the following four Enforcement Agencies:
Please contact the Enforcement Agency direct to discuss a payment arrangement.
Attachment of earnings
Epping Forest District Council can instruct your employer to deduct monies from your wages to clear the outstanding debt. The amount that can be deducted is set down in the Council Tax regulations.
Attachment of Benefit
If you receive Income Support, Jobseekers Allowance, Employment Support Allowance or Pension Guarantee Credit the Council may request monies be deducted directly from your benefit.
The Department For Work And Pensions (DWP) will confirm when deductions will begin and the amount.
GOV.UK – Department for Work and Pensions website – Call 0845 608 8575.
If your debt is over £1,000, we may apply for a Charging Order on any land or property that you own. This will enable us to force a sale of the property or settle the debt from the proceeds of any future sale.
Insolvency proceedings may be taken against you, which if successful may result in you being made bankrupt.
Committal to prison
Epping Forest District Council may in certain circumstances apply to the Magistrates Court for a means enquiry. This may result in a prison sentence of up to 3 months.