Contact us as soon as possible if you're struggling to pay your council tax.
We can spread your payments over 12 months instead of the usual 10 to reduce the amount you need to pay each month.
You should also check if you can get:
- Council Tax discounts - for example if you live by yourself or if you have a disability
- Council Tax reduction if you have a low income or you're on benefits, including Universal Credit
You can speak to one of our staff to discuss your payments if you're having financial problems:
Independent debt advice
There are many organisations that offer free advice on ways to maximise your income, manage your debt and how to deal with creditors. If you struggle to discuss your debts with creditors, they will often to speak them on your behalf if you give permission.
You can get financial and budgeting advice from these organisations:
- Citizens Advice in North Hertfordshire have offices in Letchworth, 49 Station Rd, Letchworth Garden City SG6 3BQ.
- National Debtline is a free, confidential, debt advice service for people in England, Wales and Scotland, run by the charity the Money Advice Trust.
- Stepchange is the UK’s leading debt charity, you can contact them to get expert debt advice and fee-free debt management to help tackle your debts.
What happens if you don't pay
You usually pay your council tax bill in instalments over 10 months, unless you have selected to pay over 12 months.
If you fall behind with your payments or you are paying later than the dates shown on your bill we will send you a reminder, giving you 14 days to bring your account up to date. After receiving a reminder, you must always pay your monthly instalments no later than the 14th of the month.
If you bring your account up to date and fall behind again we will send you a second reminder. No further reminders are issued once you have had that second reminder.
If you do not pay you will lose your right to pay by instalments and this could result in you being summonsed to appear in a Magistrates' Court and court costs will be added to your Council Tax account.
We will attend the court to apply for a 'liability order', which confirms who is liable for the tax. There is no need to attend the court if you have made a payment arrangement with us before the hearing date, but if you wish to dispute the matter then please contact us first and we may be able to resolve the matter.
You can find more about what happens if you don't pay your Council Tax on GOV.UK.