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Non-payment of council tax

If you do not pay your council tax after receiving a reminder or a final notice, we will send you a summons

A summons is a request for the court to grant a liability order against you. This enables the council to ensure payment of your outstanding debt.

This is done by one of the following means: 

  • Regular deductions made from your wages by your employer. This is known as 'attachment of earnings'.
  • Enforcement Agent (formally bailiffs) may seize your goods and sell them at auction. This is known as 'taking control of your goods'. 
  • After a means hearing, you could be sentenced to up to three months in prison. This is known as ‘committal proceedings’.
  • Weekly deductions from your income support. This is known as 'attachment of benefit'.
  • Insolvency – bankruptcy proceedings may be instigated against you.
  • Charging Order – this could be set against your property and may result in a forced sale.

If you have received a summons but have paid your bill, contact us immediately, providing proof of payment. You can send this proof in writing to:

Council Tax
PO Box 34750
N7 9WF

If you can’t pay the balance in full before the summons hearing date then you may be able to avoid further action if you apply for a special repayment plan now.

Apply for a repayment plan online

If you do this, we will apply for a Liability Order, but provided we agree a repayment plan and you keep to the repayments, we will not enforce the order. Alternatively contact us on 020 7527 2633.

What Enforcement Agents (bailiffs) can charge

When Enforcement Agents act against you they are allowed to charge certain fees, which you are responsible for paying.

How much you’ll pay will depend on your situation. This is a minimum of £75 and will rise at each stage – it increases the more you owe.

You can get more information on bailiff’s fees from Citizens Advice. You can also find out more about about your rights when a bailiff visits from

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