Council tax - late payments and arrears

Your payments are due on or before the 1st of each month. Paying at any point in the month later than your instalment date could result in you being issued with a reminder or other recovery notice if you continue to pay late.

Reminder notice

If you fail to pay in line with your bill you may be issued with a reminder notice. Failure to pay the amount on your reminder notice within seven days could result in the issue of a summons to the magistrates court for non-payment of council tax. Please note that we will only issue a maximum of two reminders in any financial year.

Final notice

If you have been issued with two reminders and you fail to pay an instalment by the due date for a third time, you may be issued with a final notice. This notice means that you have lost the right to pay your council tax in instalments and must pay the year's balance in full. Failure to pay the balance will result in the issue of a summons to the magistrates court for non-payment of council tax.


If you have received a summons to the magistrates court, the amount shown will need to be paid in full prior to the court date to avoid a Liability Order being obtained.

If you are unable to pay the full amount we will request that a Liability Order is granted at the magistrates court on the hearing date stated on the summons. This will incur court costs of £98.00.

We can make a payment arrangement with you at this stage, but any arrangement will include the court costs.

Liability Orders

At the magistrates court, the council asks for a liability order to be issued. This allows the council to:

  • ask your employer to deduct an amount from your earnings
  • ask that payments are made direct to the council if you receive income support, job seekers allowance, employment support allowance or pension guaranteed credits
  • use enforcement agents (also known as bailiffs)
  • in some instances the council can register outstanding council tax as a charge on your property (like a mortgage)
  • begin bankruptcy proceedings
  • apply for a warrant committing the debtor to prison if the debt has been returned by the enforcement agent

Please contact revenue services for more information on late payments and debt.

Was this page useful?

Yes No

Thank you. You can provide further feedback on this page using our feedback form.