If you Don't Pay Your Council Tax
Thinking of contacting us about your Council Tax or Housing Benefit?
If you register for MySouthend you can:
- view your online council tax bills - How to view your Council Tax bill
- make payments
- view your account
- view your housing benefit entitlement
- view payment dates and notifications
- tell us about any changes using our new MySouthend forms, all from your secure online account
.Register, or to sign in to your MySouthend account.
If you don’t pay your Council Tax as shown in your Council Tax demand we will send you a Reminder Notice. This will tell you the amount that you have to pay to get your account up to date. You will be asked to pay this within 7 days. If you do not pay the amount you will be issued with a court summons.
If you do pay this amount, but then miss a later instalment payment you will be sent a second reminder notice. You will again be asked to pay the amount within 7 days. Only two reminders can be sent in a financial year.
If you get a Final Notice you will have to pay the entire year’s charge at once within seven days. You may want to contact us as in many cases a payment arrangement can be agreed.
If you have not paid the amount after a reminder or final notice you may be summoned before the Magistrates Court. This will add a cost of £65.00 to your account. The summons will give you a court hearing date. If the amount due (including the extra cost) is fully paid before the court hearing date then there will be no further action.
If you cannot fully pay before the court hearing date you do not need to attend court. We will ask that the court grant a liability order for the debt. This will add another cost of £30.00 to your account.
14 Day Letter/Liability Order from Court
Once a liability order has been granted by the court, you have 14 days to make a suitable payment arrangement with us before recovery action is taken. If you do not make a payment arrangement, or you fail to keep up with your payments, we can take recovery action in the following ways:
- an Attachment of Earnings Order – this means we can deduct from your wages to clear your Council Tax debt
- attachment of Benefits - this allows us to deduct from your benefit payments (of Income Support, Jobseekers Allowance or Employment Support Allowance or Universal Credit only)
- an Enforcement Agent (bailiff) will be instructed to recover the payment. You should contact the enforcement agent immediately to make a payment arrangement
Contact details for the Enforcement Agents used by Southend-on-Sea Borough Council are as follows:
If an enforcement agent is involved, extra costs will be added to your account. From 6th April 2014 these costs are:
- £75.00 when your case is received by the enforcement agent. At this stage you have the option to pay in full or to make a payment arrangement
- £235.00 (+7% of the original debt over £1500.00) if the enforcement agent needs to visit you if you don't make or keep to a payment arrangement
- £110.00 (+7% of the original debt over £1500.00) if the enforcement agent needs to visit you with the purpose of removing and selling your goods if you have not paid
Please note that these costs are for each liability order issued to the enforcement agent.
It will save you money if you pay before your account is sent to an enforcement agent.
If you don't keep to your payment arrangement your goods can be removed and sold at auction.
If after these options, payment can still not be recovered this can result in:
- committal proceedings - if you cannot pay the full amount before the court date, you could face up to 90 days in prison. If you get an application for committal please contact us immediately as in some cases payment arrangements can be made to stop the hearing from taking place
- bankruptcy - this means that your assets will no longer be controlled by you and your home may be sold to pay back the debt. A bankruptcy order will add significant costs to your account
- charging order - a charging order will be placed on your property and so once the property is sold (this may be forced by the court to enforce the order) we will recover the debt from the sale. If a charging order application is granted by court, this will add significant costs to your account
Page last updated: 30/10/2019