Council tax summons

If you owe council tax and have not paid what has been requested on a reminder or final notice we must be fair to everyone who pays council tax by collecting the money that is still outstanding by issuing a council tax summons, the Council has a legal obligation to take further action against both non payers and those who are paying late.

The summons is a court document informing you of the date and time a liability order hearing is to be scheduled. It is at this hearing that a representative of the Council will request that the magistrates' court grant a liability order against you for non payment of council tax.

The summons will show clearly the amount the Council say you owe, including summons costs of £75.00.

If you pay the full amount shown (including costs) before the hearing date you do not need to attend court or tell the council and no further action will be taken.

See how to pay your council tax for details about how to make a payment.

If you are unable to pay the full amount on the summons

If you are having difficulties paying the full payment, you must contact us as soon as possible with your proposed payment arrangement.

All payment arrangements must be made with the agreement of the council, that way we can enter a formal arrangement onto your account and make sure no further action is taken as long as you keep to the payment arrangement.

You can tell us more about your financial circumstances and make an offer of payment by completing the income and expenditure form.

You do not need to attend court if you have agreed a payment arrangement.

If you don't pay in full or make an arrangement

On the date of the hearing the magistrates will be asked to grant a liability order against you which gives the council the right to:

  • Take the payment from your income support or job seeker's allowance;
  • Request that your employer makes deductions from your salary;
  • Arrange for a bailiff to collect payment, or take your belongings. This will incur additional costs.
  • Take action to make you bankrupt.
  • Take action to place a charging order on your property.

Once the liability order has been granted we will write to you informing you of this and also asking you to complete a 'Financial information request' form, which asks for details of your income, expenditure and any offer of payment you wish to make.

This must be fully completed and returned as failure to return the form will mean the council have no other option but to send your case to the bailiffs if your council tax remains unpaid.

If this happens there could be substantial costs added to your account.

If you have lost, damaged or misplaced it you can complete the form.

If you would rather speak to one of our trained recovery officers who may be able to help you in making an arrangement or advising you on any possible entitlement to a council tax reduction then you can ring 01254 5855585. Please have your council tax reference number to hand as you'll be asked for this before we can speak to you in detail about your account.

If you disagree with the summons

If you disagree with the issue of the summons, you must contact us clearly detailing your reasons, but please bear in mind that disputing the summons because you have paid late or are awaiting the decision of an appeal against liability or banding is not grounds for a summons to be cancelled.

Please do not ignore the summons as this will lead to further action being taken against you and further costs being added to the amount you owe.

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