I've received a council tax summons
Why have I received a summons?
The council will send you a summons if:
- you have had a first and second reminder during the financial year and your account is still in arrears
- you were behind with your payments, brought your account up-to-date but have fallen behind with payments again
Receiving a summons means that you have lost your right to pay by instalments. If you pay the total amount shown on the summons in full before the hearing date we will not take your case to court. You will also need to pay the costs incurred by the council for the summons of £80.50.
Tell us if you have financial difficulties and cannot pay your outstanding bill in full. Use our online form to offer a payment plan that will clear your debt by the end of the current financial year. It ends in March.
You need to have a MyGuildford account to tell us about other changes. If you do not have a MyGuildford account you can set one up.
What happens next?
If we can accept your offer of payment, we will confirm this when you complete the form. You will be able to view details of the arrangement you make on your online council tax account.
You must make the payments as per the arrangement.
If we cannot accept your offer of payment online, your offer will be looked at by a member of staff. We will send you a letter to tell you the outcome of your request.
Making a special payment arrangement means you will not have paid your account in full. Your case will still proceed to court. If you make the payments as part of your arrangement, nothing more will happen.
What happens at court?
You do not need to attend court.
At court the magistrate can only consider:
- if the bill and reminder have been issued correctly, and
- if the amount remains unpaid
They cannot say if you are the correct person to be paying or if the amount billed is wrong. They cannot make any consideration for you to make payment of the debt by instalments.
The magistrate will issue a liability order which allows the council to:
- contact your employer to take money direct from your wages
- make a deduction from your state benefits
- send the debt to an enforcement agent to collect the money. Enforcement agents were previously known as bailiffs. If your account is passed to our enforcement agent, you will get extra charges. Our enforcement agent is Rundles.
Visit our enforcement agent page for more information about actions the enforcement agent can take. Find out about the fees they are allowed to charge.