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Non-payment of council tax

Find out what action we can take If you do not pay your council tax after receiving a reminder or a final notice and what you can do after getting 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.

What can happen if you do not pay council tax on time

  • Your employer can take regular deductions from your wages ('attachment of earnings').
  • An Enforcement Agent (formally bailiffs) may take your goods and sell them at auction ('taking control of your goods').
  • You could be sentenced to prison for up to three months after a means hearing (‘committal proceedings’).
  • Weekly deductions will be taken from your benefits ('attachment of benefit').
  • We will start bankruptcy proceedings against you (insolvency).
  • A Charging Order could be set against your property and may mean you are forced to sell your home.

If you've paid your bill

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 either by email to or by post to:

Council Tax
PO Box 34750
N7 9WF

Repayment plan

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 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. You can also contact us on 020 7527 2633.

Income and expenditure form

If you have been asked to provide details of your income and expenditure, complete the income and expenditure form.

What Enforcement Agents (bailiffs) can charge

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

How much you’ll pay will depend on your situation. There is a minimum of £75 and this will increase 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 GOV.UK.

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