Council Tax and Non-Domestic Rates

The Taking Control of Goods Regulations significantly changed the way in which a Liability Order for council tax or Non Domestic Rate arrears can be enforced by a bailiff. Under the Council Tax and Non Domestic Rates category of our website we have the following pages:

Liability Order

Approx 3.3 million Liability Orders are issued each year by councils in England and Wales for councils tax and Non Domestic rate arrears. The entire Liability Order procedure from issuing of the summons, through to enforcement of the Liability Order is outlined on this page.

Non Domestic Rates Bailiffs

For business owners with arrears of non domestic rates, it is important to reach a payment arrangement with the enforcement company on receipt of the Notice of Enforcement. If the business trades from a shop, office or warehouse etc it is very simple for a bailiff to gain  ‘peaceful entry’ into the premises through an unlocked door. Items needed for a business are only exempt if their value is below £1,350!!

Payment arrangements with bailiffs

In order to avoid a bailiff visit (and incurring  an  enforcement fee of £235),  a payment proposal must be agreed  within the time  frame outlined  on the Notice of Enforcement. You must be given a minimum of  seven ‘clear days’ notice before a bailiff can visit your property. This period of time is referred to as the ‘Compliance stage’.

Can I avoid bailiff fees by paying the council?

Bailiff fees cannot be avoided by paying the council direct. Once an account has been passed to a bailiff company and a Notice of Enforcement issued, the Compliance fee of £75  and any other fees form part of the debt. Legislation stipulates that the Compliance fee should be deducted first and the balance of the payment split on a ‘pro rata’ basis.

What can a Bailiff take from my home?

Should you allow a bailiffs into you home? If you do, what items can he legally take? Are any items in the home exempt from being taken into control by a bailiff? These any many other questions are addressed on this particular page.

Council Tax Attachment of Earnings

If a Liability Order has been obtained, the local authority would be able to ask your employer to make deductions from your salary to pay towards your council tax arrears. The deduction rates and guidance on Attachment of Earnings Order can be read on this page.

Council Tax arrears….can I be sent to prison?

If a Bailiff/enforcement agent has threatened that you could be sent to prison if you do not pay please be assured that such a threat is not correct. Committal proceedings  rely on two very specific grounds; either wilful refusal or culpable neglect. This page should put your mind at rest.

Commentary from Bailiff Advice Online

If  you have any queries about the enforcement of a Liability Order by a bailiff please feel free to contact us.  You can email a question to us using our online Enquiry Form. Alternatively, you can contact our free helpline. Details are on our Contact page.

Lastly, our Simplified Guide to the Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2013 can be read  here