Recovery of unpaid Council Tax

What happens if I don't pay my Council Tax?

To avoid unnecessary action being taken against you, you must pay your Council Tax on time.

If you get a letter from us but can't pay, contact us as soon as you can and we'll do our best to help you. Do not ignore the letter!

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If we send you a summons

If we have to issue a summons because you have not paid or have paid late we will ask for a liability order against you. This hearing takes place in a Magistrates' Court.

If this happens you must pay the full amount due, plus costs.

You will no longer be entitled to pay by instalments.

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If we are granted a liability order

Once a liability order is granted we can take further recovery action against you such as:

  1. send Enforcement Agents to take away goods to the value of the money you owe
  2. get your employer to take the money from your earnings
  3. deduct an amount directly from benefit paid to you by the Department for Works and Pensions
  4. declare you bankrupt in Court (this will mean you won't be able to get a loan, a mortgage or a bank account)
  5. put a charge on your property and consider enforcing its sale to clear the debt
  6. ask the Magistrates' Court to consider sending you to prison

Please be aware that we will take action against those who wilfully withhold or avoid payment of Council Tax, the results of which can include the loss of your home.

1. If we pass your debt to an Enforcement Agency

Your account may be passed to one of the Enforcement Agencies used by the Council Tax recovery team.

Once your account has been passed to an Enforcement Agent, you will incur further costs.

To avoid an Enforcement Agent visiting your property with the intention of removing your belongings for sale at auction, contact them directly to arrange a payment plan to clear your outstanding Council Tax.

2. If you are working

An order may be sent to your employer to make deductions directly from your wages to pay your Council Tax.

The amount deducted from your wages is a percentage of your daily / weekly / monthly wages and differs depending on the amount you earn.

The percentages are set by Central Government and are detailed in the Deductions to be made under attachment of earning tables (PDF, 12KB).

Further information is available in the Attachment of earnings guide for employers (PDF, 55KB)

3. If you are on benefits

If you are in receipt of Income Support, Jobseeker's Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Universal Credit (not including housing costs) or Pension Credit, an Attachment of Benefit Order may be issued to the Department for Work and Pensions asking them to make deductions from your benefit to clear your outstanding Council Tax.

4. If we begin insolvency proceedings

If you owe Council Tax of £5,000 or more (or £750 in the case of a limited company), insolvency proceedings may be commenced against you in accordance with the Insolvency Act 1986 as amended. These proceedings may be either bankruptcy proceedings against an individual or winding up proceedings against a limited company.

5. If you own a property

If you owe Council Tax of £1,000 or more and own a property, Haringey may apply to the County Court for a charging order. Once the order is granted Haringey will be able to enforce the sale of the property in order to clear your outstanding Council Tax.

6. If we apply for a warrant

If your Council Tax remains outstanding after Enforcement Agents have tried to recover the debt, Haringey may apply to the Magistrates' Court for a warrant committing you to prison. If the Court determines the outstanding debt is due to wilful refusal or culpable neglect, they may commit you to prison for a maximum of three months. The Court may decide to postpone the period of imprisonment on certain conditions, normally relating to payment of the debt over a period of time.

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Enforcement Agencies we use

Table: Enforcement Agency contact details

NameReventus Limited (external link)Equita Ltd (external link)Newlyn (external link)Phoenix (external link)
Tel0344 800 330301604 628 36001604 633 0010844 824 3884

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Page Last Updated:

14 March 2019

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