Council tax summons

You will receive a summons if:

  • you didn't pay the correct amount as per the instalments shown on your bill

  • you didn't pay as per the due date shown on your bill on more than one occasion

  • your payments didn't reach your council tax account by the due date when the summons was issued

The summons will advise you of your debt and a court hearing date. You do not need to attend court if you agree that you are responsible to pay the debt and set up a payment plan.

Receiving a summons doesn't affect your credit rating.

What to do when you receive a summons

You need to set up a payment plan within seven days of receiving the summons to avoid debt recovery action  (this could include debt recovery by enforcement agents (bailiffs)).

You have a choice of one of the following four payment plans. By choosing one of the payment plans below you are agreeing that you are responsible for the debt and therefore will not have to attend court.

  1. Pay the total amount including the summons charge - in one payment
  2. Pay the total amount including the summons charge - in three instalments (as shown in the letter included with your summons)
  3. Pay the missed instalments and the summons charge. Then continue to pay according to the instalments stated on your original bill.
  4. Set up a payment plan for up to 6 months. This payment plan will only be approved in certain circumstances, you may need to provide further information about your circumstances.

You can also pay the full balance via the payment line. Tel: 020 8424 1220

What will happen if I don't set up a payment plan?

If you haven't set up a payment plan by the court date, we will ask the court for a liability order. This allows us to recover the debt using different recovery methods including using enforcement agents. You will receive a liability order asking you to pay the balance within 14 days.

Council officers may also attempt to contact you direct on the details that you have provided to negotiate or discuss options for repayment of the debt that you owe.