Frequently asked questions

Page last updated at 21 June 2016 at 16:45

 


How much Council Tax do I have to pay?
Your annual Council Tax depends on the Band your property is in and which parish the property is located within the Borough. The full list of charges for the current year can be found here. To check your current balance, please click here. You will need your Council Tax account reference.

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Can I receive my bills by email?
Yes. We actively promote electronic communication wherever possible. Just click here to sign up, you will need your Council Tax account reference.

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What dates can I pay by Direct Debit?
We offer payment dates of 7th or 21st of the month. To sign up for Direct Debit online, please click here. You will need your Council Tax account reference.

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How else can I pay my Council Tax?
Even though Direct Debit is the most secure, flexible and cost effective method of payment, we understand that it may not suit everyone. Therefore, we offer a number of other ways to pay. Please click here for further information.

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Can I check the balance of my account online?
Yes. Just click here, enter your Council Tax account reference and postcode and you will be able to see your current balance.

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I am moving home, what do I need to do?
You can let us know through our simple web form. Please click here and complete the form.

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Do I have to pay full Council Tax for a second home?
Yes. Full Council Tax is payable on second homes.

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Do I have to pay full Council Tax on an empty property?
Yes. Full Council Tax is payable on empty properties except in certain circumstances. When a property is empty for two years or more, a 50% Council Tax premium is charged.

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What happens if I don’t pay my Council Tax?
If you have difficulty in paying please contact us straight away so we can see what help we can offer and, if appropriate, a mutually acceptable arrangement can be made. The earlier we know you are struggling, the more help we can offer.

If you do not pay, we will issue a reminder and then you will be summonsed to appear in the Magistrates’ Court, incurring further costs, where the Council will seek to obtain a Liability Order. Once a Liability Order has been obtained and full payment has still not been made, the Council can either:

      - instruct a civil enforcement agent (bailiff) to collect the debt
      - make an attachment of earnings or benefits order
      - apply for a charging order against your property
      - take insolvency or bankruptcy action

As a last resort when all of the above have failed, apply to the Magistrates’ Court for a warrant of arrest to bring you to court for the Magistrates to decide whether you should go to prison for non-payment.

If you need help paying your Council Tax as you are not working or on a low income, you may be entitled to help. Please click here for further information.

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I have received a reminder / final notice. What should I do?
We urge you to contact us as soon as possible to discuss the situation. If appropriate, a mutually acceptable arrangement can be made, which if maintained will prevent further recovery action being taken. For details of the action that will be taken if you do not make your payments, click here.

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I have received a summons. What should I do?
We urge you to contact us immediately to discuss the situation. If appropriate, a mutually acceptable arrangement can be made, which if maintained will prevent further recovery action being taken. In these circumstances, you will not have to appear in front of the Magistrates, although the Council will still apply for a Liability Order to secure the debt. For details of the action that will be taken if you do not make your payments, click here.

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How do I check the Council Tax band on a property?
All Council Tax bands are detailed online. Please click here to be taken to the Valuation Office Agency’s website.

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How are the Bands worked out?
Council Tax bands are determined by the Valuation Office Agency. For further information, please click here to be taken to their website.

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I think my property is in the wrong Band. How do I get it reviewed?
Under certain circumstances you may be able to appeal against the valuation given to your property. Valuation band appeals may be made within six months of someone becoming liable provided the previous occupier did not make an appeal on the same grounds. Appeals must be made to the Listing Officer of the Valuation Office Agency. Click here for further information or to make an appeal.

Remember that your property was banded for Council Tax based on property values on 1 April 1991. Although house prices have changed since then, the Government does not consider that is a valid reason for appeal. A valid ground might be that your house is identical to the one next door, but has been put in a different valuation band.

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Can I get help with my Council Tax if I am unemployed or on a low income?
The Council maintains a Council Tax Reduction Scheme for persons responsible for paying Council Tax that are unemployed or on a low income. Please click here to apply for Council Tax Support.

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What should I do if I’m struggling to pay my Council Tax?
If you have difficulty in paying, please contact us straight away so we can see what help we can offer. The earlier we know you are struggling, the more help we can offer.

If you need help paying your Council Tax as you are not working or on a low income, you may be entitled to help. Please click here for further information.

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