Council Tax: recovery of non-payment

Liability orders

A liability order is issued to the council by the Magistrates Court following a court hearing and will detail who is responsible for the debt, how much it is, what costs have been awarded and the date and place of the hearing.

A liability order gives the council the following powers:

  • To request information regarding your work, income, expenditure and family circumstances. Failure to provide this can lead to a further court appearance and a fine being issued.
  • Attach your earnings.
  • Make deductions of money from certain benefits as income support and job seekers allowance.
  • Refer your debt to enforcement agents for them to collect payment or take and sell your goods to pay the Council Tax and their costs.
  • To commence insolvency proceedings if the debt is more than £750.
  • If all of the above fail the council can place a charging order on your house. This means that if you try to sell your house the debt will be repaid before the sale can take place.
  • To apply to the magistrates court for your committal to prison for a period not exceeding 3 months for each debt.

To avoid the above you must pay your Council Tax when due. If unable to do so you must contact the Revenues & Benefits Section immediately.

If you are in financial difficulties due to low income you may be entitled to Council Tax Reduction or Housing Benefit - please apply as soon as possible.