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Council tax payment difficulties

If you are having problems paying your council bills, you should let us know as soon as possible. As soon as you realise you are struggling to pay, contact us on 01243 534501 to discuss the options available to you.

You can also contact our supporting you team for further advice.

What happens if I don't pay?

If you do not contact us, and do not make payment, action will be taken to recover any money outstanding. This will involve the issue of a reminder and summons and the addition of costs. Further non-payment can result in the use of enforcement agents (formerly known as bailiffs), an attachment to your earnings and certain benefits, an application for bankruptcy or a charging order on your home, and ultimately committal to prison.

The information below has been produced to try and help you understand the process by which council tax arrears will be recovered and to offer practical advice on what to do at each stage of the recovery process.

If you are issued with a council tax reminder, final or summons you may be invited to complete a TellJo wellbeing assessment by text message or email. The results of this assessment are shared back to us to help us better understand your personal situation and consider whether any additional support is needed, including Council tax discounts. If you receive an invite we encourage you to complete it so that we can offer additional help and signpost to further support that might be helpful. 

Do you qualify for a reduction or exemption?

Did you know if you live on your own you might be able to get a discount of 25%. Full council tax is based on 2 adults living in a property. If one of those adults or all adults in your home fall into a specific group of people, for example, students or carers, you may also get a discount or exemption. To find out more go to our council tax discounts and exemptions pages. 

Council tax reduction (formerly council tax benefit)

If you are on a low income, you may be entitled to help with your council tax and your rent. To find out more go to our council tax reduction webpage.

Discretionary Council Tax Reduction (DCTR)

This is an additional fund which is available for financially vulnerable people in certain groups. For more information and to make an application please claim a discretionary payment.

Additional support

If you're on a low wage or receiving benefits, .

We are sympathetic to circumstances of genuine hardship and we will work with you to put arrangements in place that will take your financial circumstances into account. Please remember that council tax is a priority debt and should be paid before other non-priority debts.

Help or advice

You can get free help or advice on dealing with debts from: