Recovering owed Council Tax

If a liability order has been issued, we may recover the Council Tax owed through an attachment of earnings order, attachment of benefits order or by using enforcement agents (bailiffs).

We will always take account of your individual circumstances when deciding how to recover unpaid Council Tax in line with our vulnerable person's recovery policy.

Attachment of benefits order

This will be issued if you get one of the following:

  • Income Support
  • Job Seekers Allowance
  • Pension Credit
  • Employment Support Allowance
  • Universal Credit.

This order means that a sum will be deducted from each payment you receive.

Attachment of earnings order

This order will be sent to your employer requiring them to:

  1. Take money from your wages
  2. Send this to the council to cover your Council Tax.

They may also take an extra £1 for each deduction to cover administration costs.

The amount taken will be a percentage of your net pay (your wage after taxes and deductions have been taken). Details of this will be sent to you with the attachment of earnings order.

View our attachment of earnings guidance for employers

View our attachment of earnings table

Enforcement agents (bailiffs)

We may send an enforcement agent to collect outstanding Council Tax from you if a liability order has been issued.

This may be done if you have not made or kept to an agreed repayment plan or have not completed and returned the personal information form sent to you.

If an enforcement agent is instructed to collect the debt:

  • we’ll send you a letter by post if your debt is passed on to an enforcement agent
  • a fixed fee of £75 will be due on issuing your case to an enforcement agent
  • any payments or offers of repayment should be made to the enforcement agent
  • a fixed fee of £235 will be charged if they visit you and 7.5% for any balance due over £1,500.

An enforcement agent will normally ask you for payment in full. However, if you cannot pay, they may enter into a Controlled Goods Agreement (CGA). This means they make a list of your possessions that is equal to your debt. If you do not pay as agreed, the agent may enter your property and take the listed items and charge you for their removal and sale.

If they believe that your possessions will not cover the debt, we’ll consider other recovery options such as

  • committal action
  • bankruptcy
  • charging order against your property.