Liability Order

When a Liability Order has been obtained, you will receive a notice informing a Liability Order has been granted. For Business Rates the letter will request you arrange payment within 7 days. For Council Tax the letter will request you arrange payment within 14 days. On the reverse of the Council Tax letter is a form requesting details of your income and that of your partner. You must complete and return this form within 14 days from the date of issue.  It is an offence not to complete and return the form and you may be fined by the Magistrates for failing to do so.

If you are unable to make payment in full we can still help in most cases by making a payment arrangement with you. To set up a payment plan please login or register for an online account by clicking on the green tab above.

Alternatively, to discuss payment please contact Customer Services on 01925 443322.

Once granted a liability order gives the council powers to enforce payment of the money that is owed. These powers include:

  • Requesting income details
  • Make an Attachment to your Earnings
  • Make an Attachment to your Benefits such as Universal Credit
  • Instruct Enforcement Agents 
  • Apply for a charging order on your property. This means we could force its sale to pay your Council Tax arrears, or the arrears will be paid out of the proceeds of any future sale. If the charging order is granted, you will have to pay additional fees
  • Applying to make you bankrupt. Once the process has started you will have to pay additional fees which may be more than the original debt owed. 
  • Apply to the magistrates for your committal to prison but only after an Enforcement Agent has attempted to recover the outstanding amount first.
  • The Council can take any of these actions in order to enforce payment

Attachment to your earnings

If you are in employment, we can ask your employer to deduct a certain amount of money each month from your wages before you receive them. The exact amount will be in accordance with a scale of deductions set by the government. The more you earn, the higher the deduction. Your employer can also deduct a charge covering their administrative costs in making the deductions. For further details see our 'Attachment of Earnings (The Law) guide'.

Attachment to your benefits

If you are in receipt of Universal Credit, Income Support, Job Seekers Allowance, Employment Support Allowance or Pension Credit, we can ask the DWP to make a deduction from each payment they make to you. Again, the exact amount will depend on figures set by the government.

Enforcement Agents

A Liability Order allows the Council to pass an account to an Enforcement Agent for collection. We will only do this if you fail to arrange payment of the arrears and there is no other way of collecting the money that is owed.

Once the Liability Order has been passed to an Enforcement Agent, they will write to you informing of the arrears and request you contact them to arrange payment. You should contact the Enforcement Agent at the earliest opportunity to discuss payment.  

The Enforcement Agent will seek to collect payment in full but may enter into a payment arrangement with you if you can show you do not have the means to make payment in full. In most cases the Council will not get involved in payment negotiations and all payments should be made to the Enforcement Agent.

Should you fail to contact the Enforcement Agent or to arrange payment with the Enforcement Agent, they will visit your home, or business address in respect of business rates, with a view to removing goods to the value of the council tax or business rates and costs owed.  

Enforcement Agent Regulations allow the Enforcement Agent to charge the following costs:

  • Compliance stage: £75.00 charged as soon as the case is passed from the Local Authority to the Enforcement Agent. The charge is payable on each Liability Order.
  • Enforcement stage: £235.00 plus 7.5% of the value of the debt that exceeds £1,500. The fee of £235.00 is payable upon first attendance at the premises. Only one enforcement fee maybe charged even if there are multiple Liability Orders.
  • Sale stage: £110.00 plus 7.5% of the value of the debt that exceeds £1,500. The fee is payable upon first attendance at the premises to remove the goods or prepare for sale.
  • Enforcement agents may also recover disbursement fees that are reasonably and actually incurred such as the cost of storage of goods removed and locksmith’s fees.
  • The level of the fees is set by the Government and reviewed annually.

The council currently uses the following Enforcement Agents:



16 February 2024