What happens if you don't pay your council tax?

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3. Court action if you don't pay

We can apply to the magistrates court for a liability order which gives us more options for recovery if we need it.

We will send you a summons and a means enquiry form, telling you the date of the court hearing and the full amount of unpaid council tax, plus our costs.

Only payment in full will stop the recovery action. Make a payment online.

The following are not valid reasons for the magistrates to refuse to grant the liability order:

  • you cannot afford to pay
  • you have applied for council tax support and are awaiting the outcome
  • you have appealed against your council tax band - you must still pay the amount on the summons. We will send you a new bill and a refund of any overpayment if the band is changed.
  • you have appealed to the Valuation Tribunal regarding your liability, exemption or discount. You must still pay the amount on the summons and we will send you a new bill if the charge is changed. You will get a refund if you have paid too much.