Enforcement agents and unpaid council tax
Why Enforcement Agents are involved in collecting Council Tax
If you have an unpaid Court Order (liability order) and have not made a suitable payment arrangement, or provided details to enable an attachment to either your earnings or benefit, then the Council can instruct Enforcement Agents to collect any outstanding Council Tax.
The Council does not want to refer debts to Enforcement Agents but will do so if the matter is not resolved. Please contact us on 0345 302 2316 and we will do all we can to help you.
What will happen if my debt is passed to Enforcement Agents
If your debt is passed to an Enforcement Agent you will incur a fixed fee of £75.00 upon them issuing a letter to you. The letter known as an Enforcement Notice will give you at least 7 days’ notice of the Enforcement Agent’s intention to visit your property to take control of goods.
If you receive an Enforcement Notice you should contact the Enforcement Agent in order to make payment in full or agree a payment plan.
If the Enforcement Agent visits your property you will incur further fees of £235.00 (plus an additional 7.5% for any balance over £1,500.00). The Enforcement Agents will attend your property in order to take control of goods, including everything involved in identifying, valuing and taking control of your belongings.
Removal or sale of your goods may be avoided by either making payment in full or agreeing payment via a short-term arrangement known as a ‘Controlled Goods Agreement’ with the Enforcement Agents.
If your possessions are subject to a Controlled Goods Agreements then you cannot dispose of them without the Enforcement Agent’s permission.
If you fail to maintain a payment arrangement and you have signed a Controlled Goods Agreement, the Enforcement Agent may re-enter your property in order to take the goods listed on the agreement.
If the Enforcement Agent attends your property to remove goods for sale you will incur further fees of £110.00 (plus 7.5% of the value of the debt that exceeds £1,500.00). You may also be charged additional disbursements such as storage fees and Auctioneers fees.
Entering your property
Enforcement Agents may enter or re-enter premises on any day of the week after 6.00 am and before 9.00 pm via any door or usual means by which entry is gained.
What goods the Enforcement Agents can take
The Enforcement Agents is allowed to remove any of your goods, other than those required to meet your family's and your own basic domestic needs i.e. clothing and bedding, or those goods such as tools, required personally by you in your employment, provided their value is less than £1,350.
What happens if the Enforcement Agents can't collect the Council Tax
If the Enforcement Agents cannot collect the Council Tax or there are insufficient goods to clear the debt, we will consider alternative recovery options including bankruptcy, liquidation, placing a legal charge on your property or committal proceedings.
How to complain
If you don't think that the Enforcement Agents have followed the above process please contact Council Tax.
You can access further information on Enforcement Agents and Fees on the Citizens Advice website.