Non-Payment: Enforcement of Court Proceedings

Once a liability order has been granted we are given extra powers to recover the outstanding debt. These include:

Request for Financial Information

The Council can now request that you, or anyone else named on the order, provide their financial details within 14 days.

It will be a criminal offence not to supply the information without reasonable cause, or knowingly supply information that is false.

Back to the top of the page

Attachment of Earnings Order

The Council can instruct your employer to make deductions directly form your pay and as such they will be entitled to deduct an administration cost of £1 for each transaction. A copy of the order will be sent to both you and your employer.

The amounts that we can take from your pay will depend on how much you earn, the actual % levels can be found by clicking here.

Your employer must follow the Attachment of Earnings Order and may be prosecuted and eventually fined if they do not.

Back to the top of the page

Deductions from your Benefit Entitlement

The Council can request deductions directly from:

  • Job Seekers Allowance (JSA)
  • Income Support (IS)
  • Employment Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Pension Credit Guaranteed Credit (PCGC)

We will make an application to the Benefits Agency to recover by weekly deduction the full amount referred to in the liability order, which will include the costs incurred when obtaining the order.

The deduction rate for Attachment of Benefits is set by Central Government and is reviewed annually. The current rate is £3.60 per week.

Back to the top of the page

The Council's Enforcement Agents

If you do not contact the Council, providing either an acceptable offer of payment, employment details (for an attachment of earnings) or details of your entitlement to state benefits (for an attachment to Income Support or Jobseekers Allowance) we will pass your case over to the Council's Enforcement Agents for collection.

The Council will no longer discuss settlement of your account and you will be liable for the additional costs incurred. We will not intervene in any action taken by our Enforcement Agents to enforce payment, unless the circumstances are exceptional.

Enforcement Agents can call at your home to take control of your goods, and to remove & ultimately sell them at public auction. Any revenue raised from the sale of your property will be used to clear the debt.

Once agents are instructed to collect the debt, you will incur additional fees, which are statutory amounts laid down in legislation and are charged at 3 different stages throughout the process:


  • Compliance Stage - £75 (per Liability Order)
  • Enforcement Stage - £235 (plus 7.5% of any debt above £1,500)
  • Goods Removal Stage - £110 (plus 7.5% of any debt above £1,500)

We therefore strongly recommend that you engage with us, rather than letting it get this far and becoming immediately liable for the £75.00 - per Liability Order

If, however, you decline our invitation and have been sent a letter warning of an impending Enforcement Agent visit to your home, you are advised to contact them immediately to discuss your payment intentions. You must make any payment arrangements with them and, also, make any payments directly to them,

The Compliance Stage comprises all activities relating to enforcement from the receipt by the Enforcement Agent of instructions to use that procedure in relation to a sum to be recovered up to but not including the commencement of the enforcement stage;

The Enforcement Stage comprises all activities relating to enforcement from the first attendance at the premises in relation to the instructions up to but not including the commencement of the sale or disposal stage;

The Sale or Disposal Stage comprises all activities relating to enforcement from the first attendance at the property for the purpose of transporting goods to the place of sale, or from commencing preparation for sale if the sale is to be held on the premises, until the completion of the sale or disposal.

Other disbursements may also be recovered in relation to the removal and sale of goods.

Back to the top of the page

Charging Order

Providing the debt is greater than £999.00 we can make an application to the County Court to impose a security against the value of your house, this will then be paid to the Council when it is eventually sold.

Back to the top of the page


The Council may start bankruptcy proceedings against you, or anyone else named on the liability order providing the debt, or the aggregate amount of debt, is greater than £4,999.00.

We will send a statutory demand that will give 21 days for you to pay the full amount. If you do not settle that statutory demand we will present a petition for bankruptcy in the County Court.

Once issued with a bankruptcy order the official receiver will investigate your affairs and your bank account(s) will be frozen.

If you are made bankrupt the official receiver will control your spending, you will lose your credit rating and be blacklisted from getting any more credit; you could even be forced to sell your home to pay your debts.

Back to the top of the page

Committal to Prison for Non-Payment

If we are unable to recover the unpaid Council Tax by an alternative course, such as an attachment of earnings/Income Support or Jobseekers Allowance, or through an instruction to the council’s Enforcement Agent, we will have no alternative but to apply to the local Magistrate for a committal summons. This is the first stage of possible imprisonment.

If you receive a committal summons, you should contact us immediately. Alternatively you should get legal advice from a solicitor, your local law centre or Citizens Advice Bureau.

Back to the top of the page


Contact Us

Richmondshire District Council
Mercury House
Station Road
North Yorkshire
DL10 4JX

Phone: 01748 829100
Fax: 01748 826186
E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.