Council Tax: reminder notices

Reminder notices

Council Tax: reminder notices

Council Tax is usually payable by 10 monthly instalments from April to January each year. The amount you are due to pay, and the date the instalment is due is shown on your bill.

Instalment dates are available are the 1st, 11th, 20th or 28th of each month if you pay by direct debit.

However, if you pay by any other method (i.e. cheque, BACS transfer or Post Office), payments must be made on the 1st of each month.

If payment is not made on the date shown on your bill we are able to send you a reminder notice the day after the instalment was due to be paid. This reminder notice gives you 7 days to bring the instalment up to date

What to do if you are struggling to pay

If you are unable to bring the account up to date within 7 days you must contact us immediately at [email protected], or ring us on 0300 330 7000.

The sooner you contact the council to let us know that you are experiencing difficulties, the sooner we can assist you

What happens if you do not pay

If the instalment is not paid, and you do not come to an alternative arrangement to repay the debt with us, a court summons will be requested from the Magistrates Court and you will incur additional court costs immediately.

If you bring your account up to date, but miss a further payment, or pay late in the month again, a 2nd reminder will be issued. If this is not paid a court summons will be issued.

Again, should the account be brought up to date, you may continue paying by instalments; however, if a 3rd instalment is not paid or paid late, a final notice will be issued requiring you to pay the full balance of the year's Council Tax within 7 days.

Delays on payments reaching us

Standing order payments, BACS transfer payments, payments made by cheque, or at the Post Office can take a few days to reach the council. You should therefore ensure that you arrange for the payment to be made before the due date of the instalment, to avoid payments crossing with the issue of reminder notices.

Frequently asked questions

Q. I have received a reminder addressed to where I used to live. What should I do?

A. You need to make sure that we are aware that you have moved address. Download and complete an online change of address form to notify us. 

Q. Can I pay weekly?

A. Yes, contact [email protected] and request weekly instalments.

Q. Can I pay my Council Tax at the end of the month when I get paid?

A. Council Tax must be paid on the 1st of each month. If you pay later in the month you may be sent reminder notices.

After 2 reminders are sent asking you to pay on time, you will lose your right to pay by instalments and the total balance remaining for the year must be paid within 7 days.

If you choose to pay by direct debit, you can pay on 1st, 11th, 20th, or 28th of the month.

You can either download a direct debit instruction or arrange over the phone on 0300 330 7000

Q. Can I pay at a Post Office?

A. Each bill or reminder we send you contains a unique bar code. Simply take the letter to any Post Office, or most Payzone retailers, and make payment free of charge. Please keep your receipt safe. 

Q. I have received a reminder but have already paid.

A. Some payment methods, i.e. standing order, BACS transfer, or Post Office payment can take a few working days to reach us. Please ensure that you make payment in time for the instalment date to avoid reminder notices being sent.

You can check your balance anytime by receiving your bills electronically. Find more information about electronic bills.

Q. I made an arrangement to pay my Council Tax arrears, but have just received a reminder notice.

A. If you make an arrangement to repay a debt that does not match the instalments you were due to pay,you will automatically be issued with reminder notices, as your payments are not in line with the statutory instalments due.

If you are maintaining the arrangement that you made with the council you do not need to take any further action. We appreciate that receiving further reminders can be worrying, so if you would like confirmation that your arrangement is in place simply e-mail us at [email protected]

Q. I have made a claim for a reduction under the Council Tax Reduction Scheme, and am waiting to see if I qualify for any help towards my tax bill.

A. Council Tax legislation states that you must pay the Council Tax bill you were sent, until such time as any entitlement to a reduction is calculated.

If you are unable to pay the bill you were sent, for any reason, please contact us immediately.

Q. What is a final notice?

A. If you pay late in the month we will write to you twice asking that you make sure your payments are made on the due date. On the third occasion we will send you a final notice.

This notice advises you that due to persistent late payment you have lost your right to pay by instalments, and the total balance for the year must be paid within 7 days.

Q. Can I pay my Council Tax over 12 months?

A. Council Tax is normally paid in 10 monthly instalments, April to January. Upon receipt of your bill, you can request instalments until March.

Please note that, in some circumstances, where your account is in arrears, we may not be able to offer this facility immediately.

To request instalments until March, please email us at [email protected].