Council Tax Change of Circumstance

If you have notified us about a change in circumstances such as sale of a property or persons moving in or out of a property, please be aware that we are currently experiencing a high volume of work and an amended account will be issued in due course.

Are you are having difficulties in paying your bill?

If you are unable to pay your Council Tax you should contact the Council Tax section as soon as possible to discuss your personal circumstances.

If you are having trouble paying your Council Tax then the following information may be worth reading:

If you are unable to pay your Council Tax you should contact the Council Tax section as soon as possible to discuss your personal circumstances.

The sooner you contact us the better. You can do this by phoning 0161 217 6014.

What happens if I don't pay as detailed on my bill?

When we send you your Council Tax bill, we tell you when and how much you have to pay. If you do not pay exactly as requested we may send you a reminder notice and take further recovery action against you.

For example if you are making regular payments, but are paying later than the dates shown on your Council Tax bill, you may receive a reminder notice.

Receiving a reminder notice

You must pay the amount shown on the reminder within 7 days, this will bring your account up to date and then you will need to pay all your instalments on time in future.

If you don’t pay the specified amount within 7 days we will send you a summons and add the costs of this to your account.

If you pay but then fail to pay future instalments on time, you will lose the right to pay by instalments and if you don’t pay the balance immediately, we will send you a summons and add the costs of this to your account.

Receiving a Final Notice

We have withdrawn your right to pay by instalments.

You must pay the full balance immediately or you will receive a summons and we will add the costs of this to your account.


A summons is a legal notice requiring you to appear at the Magistrates Court. If you have not made payment as instructed by the reminder or final notice or contacted us to make an arrangement, a summons will be issued. 

After a summons has been issued

Once a summons is issued, then the Council will apply to the Magistrates Court for a Liability Order for the full amount of Council Tax - including costs unless the amount is paid in full before the court hearing date.

Your right to pay by instalments has already been lost by this stage, however, under certain circumstances a special arrangement can be made after the Liability Order is granted.

Court hearings

If you do not attend, the hearing will go ahead without you and the Liability Order will be applied for - unless you have already paid the account, including costs, in full.

If you intend to attend the court hearing it is advisable to contact the customer contact centre on 0161 217 6014 to discuss your account.

If you choose to go to the court hearing, the magistrates will ask if you have a valid defence which will stop a Liability Order being granted. See the Related Documents section for information on valid defences.

What is a Liability Order?

A Liability Order is granted by the courts to give the Council higher powers to recover the unpaid Council Tax.

  • First of all, if you have still not paid, or agreed an acceptable arrangement, you will be asked to provide details of your income.This is so the debt can be recovered by attachment to earnings or certain benefits. An attachment of earning is calculated by a percentage of your net earnings after tax and national insurance - view a table of deductions (PDF 32Kb).
  • If an attachment is not set up we would then consider passing the debt to an Enforcement Agent - previously known as a bailiff - to collect. This will incur additional costs and the Enforcement Agent has the right to take control of goods in order to sell them to enforce the payment of debts.
  • If you don't make a suitable arrangement with the Enforcement Agent  and you don't have enough goods to clear what you owe, we may decide to place a 'charging order' on your property, which allows us to collect the debt when the property is sold, or make you bankrupt. We may even decide to ask the Magistrates to commit you to prison.

Don't forget, the sooner you let us know if you are having any difficulties paying your Council Tax the better.