Council Tax: Ways that we can recover debt

If we cannot agree a payment agreement with you and we have obtained a Liability Order we have more powers to recover the debt set out below.

If you are having problems paying - please see our page: 'What happens if I don't pay my Council Tax?'

Frequent forms of recovery

The most frequent forms of recovery are deductions from benefit or from your wages, but we can also ask an enforcement agent (previously bailiff) to collect for us.
We could also obtain a Charging Order, begin bankruptcy proceedings or take committal proceedings.

Deductions from benefit

If you receive Universal Credit, Job Seekers Allowance, Income Support or Employment Support Allowance we can ask the DWP to deduct money from your benefit. We can also request deductions from your Guaranteed Pension Credit.

Deductions of £3.65 per week will be taken to help clear your arrears. You will be expected to keep your current bill up to date while the deductions for your arrears are being made.

Attachment to Earnings

If we have obtained a Liability Order and we know your employer, we may serve up to two Attachment to Earnings orders.

It may help if you read our Attachment to Earnings booklet as this outlines the amounts that can be deducted from your wages.

You can request that an Attachment of Earnings is set up to prevent the debt being sent to an enforcement agent (bailiff) and prevent extra costs being added to your account.

You will be expected to keep your current bill up to date while the deductions for your arrears are being made.

Enforcement agent (bailiff)

If other attempts to reach a payment arrangement fail, we will pass the debt to our enforcement agents (bailiff).

An enforcement agent’s action follows three stages which are:

  • The compliance stageA cost of £75 is charged for each liability order we pass to the enforcement agent. If you have multiple debts outstanding for which several liability orders have been issued significant costs will be added to the amount you owe.
  • Enforcement stage - a further cost of £235 plus 7.5% of any debt above £1,500 is added to the amount you owe once your account moves to the enforcement stage. An agent will visit your property to take control of your goods.
  • Sale or disposal - a further of £110 plus another 7.5% fee of any debt outstanding above £1,500 is added to the amount you owe, together with any sale or disbursement costs.

Recovery policy and code of conduct

The way in which we collect Council Tax is set out in our Recovery and Enforcement Policy.