Summons, Court Hearings and Liability Orders

What action we may take against you if you fail to pay.


  • Summons
  • Court hearing
  • Liability Order


If you do not pay your Council Tax we can apply to the Magistrates Court for a Liability Order to be granted. You'll receive a Summons informing you about this through the post. The Summons will tell you the date and time of the hearing and the full amount payable, including costs of £57.50 for the issue of the Summons. If full payment including costs is made before the hearing date the court will be informed and no further action will be taken.  

Court Hearing

We will make an application in the Court for a Liability Order to be granted because you have not paid as required. If you feel your Liability for Council Tax is incorrect please contact the Council Tax team before the hearing date so that your account can be checked.

Please note 

Magistrates cannot take into account claims for Council Tax Benefit and or appeals to the Valuation Tribunal. The Magistrates will grant the Liability Order based on your Liability to pay Council Tax. You will incur a further £35.00 cost totalling £92.50 in full. If you still wish to dispute your Liability, you can put your case to the Magistrates. Otherwise, you do not need to attend the court hearing.

Liability Order

This gives us more powers to collect your Council Tax. It allows us to get information with regards to if you are working or getting benefits.  

Attachment of Earnings

We can demand to have money taken from your wages in line with Government guidelines. This is called an Attachment of Earnings

Deduction from Benefits

We can ask that payments are made direct from some benefits to pay outstanding Council Tax subject to the Liability Order.

Enforcement Agent

We can send your account to one of our Enforcement Agents to recovery the debt.  Please read more here.

Charging Order

If you own your own property we can apply to the County Court to have a charge placed against your home. The Charging Order works in the same way as a mortgage - it would have to be paid if you sell the property. We could apply to the court to order you to sell your property to pay your bill.


We can apply to the County Court to have you made Bankrupt. This is a very serious step that would affect your ability to get credit and could lead to you losing your home and you would be liable for Solicitors costs and insolvency fees.

Being sent to prison

The law allows us to apply to the Magistrates Court to have a person sent to prison where there is 'Culpable neglect' or 'Wilful refusal to pay.'  

Related Articles