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Cardiff Council

Failure to pay Council Tax

Do not ignore any notice you get about paying your Council Tax. Please get in touch with us if you are having difficulties paying your bill.​

If you pay your instalments later than the dates shown on your Council Tax bill, we may send you a reminder notice for late payment.

You must pay the amount shown on the reminder by the date on the enclosed letter.

You will need to pay all your instalments on time in future, or you may lose your right to pay by instalments.

If you do not think you will be able to pay, please contact us for advice.

If you do not pay, we will pass a complaint on to Cardiff Magistrates Court. You will be sent a Court Summons for non-payment of Council Tax, you will also incur additional costs for this action.

Getting a Summons

When you get a summons, we will apply to the Magistrates for a Liability Order for the full amount of Council Tax you owe.

You can stop this action by paying the amount shown on your summons in full, including the costs, before the court date.
If you can't pay the full amount before the court date, find out what to do if you have received a summons​.​​

This will not stop the court action and you will still be charged court costs.

Court proceedings are dealt with in the Magistrates Court, so there will not be a County Court Judgment against you and your credit rating will not change as a result of this action.

Going to Court

It is your right to appear in court if you have been summonsed and if you do wish to attend you should contact us to arrange for an appointment.

If you have contacted us to discuss your account you may not have to go to court.

If you choose to go to the court hearing, the Magistrates will ask if you have a valid defence that will stop the Liability Order being granted. The following are not valid defences:
  • you can't afford to pay,
  • you have applied for Council Tax Reduction, Discount, Exemption or other reduction,
  • you have an outstanding appeal with the Valuation Tribunal,
  • that you have not received the notices sent to you. The council does not have to prove that you received them.
If you do not attend, the hearing will go ahead in your absence and we will continue to apply for the Liability Order.

Liability Orders

The Magistrates grant a Liability Order to the council, which gives us legal powers to recover outstanding Council Tax.

A Liability Order allows us to take any of the following action if you do not pay your Council Tax:
  • gain information about your employment or benefits,
  • order your employer to take the money directly from your wages,
  • make deductions from your Income Support or Jobseeker's Allowance,
  • use Enforcement Agents to recover goods from your home,​
  • apply for a Charging Order on your house which will mean that you cannot sell it until the Council Tax has been paid,
  • apply to High Court to declare you bankrupt.

Please do not ignore your Council Tax bill. If you are unable to pay, please contact us​ so that we can make sure you get the right advice.


© 2022 Cardiff Council