What to do if you can't pay

If you do not pay your Council Tax bill instalments, you could face legal action and a fine.

If you are struggling to pay your Council Tax contact us straight away, don't let the problem get worse. 

Make sure you have received any reductions that you are entitled to that could help reduce the amount of Council Tax that you have to pay.

How we can help

We may be able to offer you an alternative repayment scheme. Please get in touch with us as soon as possible about this.

If you can’t afford to pay the amount requested, because your earnings are low or you are in receipt of state benefits, use our online calculator to check if you are eligible to claim and apply for Council tax reduction.

Reminders and final notices

If you have received a reminder or final notice for forgetting to pay your instalment, you can set up a direct debit. Around 30,000 of our customers already use this convenient way to make their regular Council Tax payments.

If you are experiencing financial difficulties, our financial advice pages have some useful contact points for organisations that may be able to help give you independent advice.

The process step-by-step

  1. Reminder notice

    If you are late with your payment, you will get a reminder letter advising how much you should pay to bring your account up to date.

  2. Second reminder notice

    If your Council Tax falls into arrears again at any point in the current financial year, you will be sent another reminder asking you to bring your account up to date within ten days.

  3. Final notice

    If you do not bring your account up to date following the second reminder, you will be issued with a final notice and you will lose your right to pay by instalments.

  4. Magistrate’s Court Summons

    If you do not pay, a court summons will be issued and you will be liable to pay for the full year, plus legal costs.

  5. The court hearing

    A court hearing will be held if your arrears and legal costs are not paid following the issue of the court summons notice.

  6. The outcome

    Following the court hearing, you may be issued a court order.

  7. Enforcement Agent fees

    Information about the Taking Control of Goods (Fees) Regulations 2014 effective from 6 April 2014 and fees applicable for cases referred for recovery prior to 6 April 2014

Chat with us