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

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5. What happens at the court hearing?

We will apply for a Liability Order to enable enforcement of the debt. As long as the Magistrates are satisfied that the Council has issued the statutory notices (bill, reminder and summons), and that the debt remains outstanding, they will issue a Liability Order with costs. You are then required to pay the total amount outstanding.

What is a Liability Order?

A Liability Order is granted by the Magistrates’ Court. It gives the council greater powers of recovery if required.

Can I stop this happening?

Yes, if you pay the full amount including the costs before the hearing date. This payment must be made by 4pm on the last working day prior to the hearing. You can make a payment online.

Why have costs been added?

Taking recovery action results in costs for the Council; these costs must be paid by those who we have had to take recovery action against.

Will this affect my credit rating?

No, it is not a County Court Judgement. A Liability Order is granted in the local Magistrates’ Court and does not appear on your credit file.

What happens next?

If you do not make arrangements to pay the outstanding balance, the Council can proceed with the next steps to recover the debt. The course of recovery can be in the form of being visited by an Enforcement Agent, or having money deducted direct from your wages, salary or benefits. You may even be at risk of losing your home or being sentenced to a period of imprisonment.