The Council recognises that the past 18 months have been difficult for businesses. If you have business rates arrears, contact us as soon as possible to discuss your situation so that we can find an acceptable solution and help you avoid summons costs and recovery action.
If you’re having difficulties or are struggling to pay your business rates, contact us immediately. We can check to make sure you’re getting all the discounts and reliefs you’re entitled to.
If you do not contact us and continue to miss your payments, we will have to take action to recover outstanding money. This will involve the issue of a Magistrates' Court summons. We will ask the court to grant a liability order and this would mean enforcement agent action (previously known as bailiffs), insolvency or even committal to prison. Find out what to do if you receive a court summons
Note: Due to the Coronavirus outbreak the Magistrate Court due to be held on 9 April 2020 was cancelled. Summonses and costs were removed from accounts of affected businesses.
Enforcement agents process
- administration stage - the enforcement agent starts initial contact with you. This results in administration fees, but gives you a period of time to come to a payment arrangement.
- enforcement stage - visits to your property. There is a set fee to cover work at this stage plus a further percentage fee for debts over a certain value.
- sale of goods stage - if goods are seized, there will be further costs including fees to cover the removal of goods and the costs of selling them, plus a further percentage fee for debts above a certain value.
- Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2013
- Taking Control of Goods (fees) Regulations 2014
- Enforcement Agency Code of Conduct and Council expectations
- Enforcement Agent fees examples
- Business Rates Debt Recovery Policy
What to do when an enforcement agent is involved
Once your account has been issued to the enforcement agent, you must make any payments directly to them, not us.
If the agent is unable to collect the amount due, they may be willing to make a short-term payment arrangement with you. If you still do not make payment, or default on an arrangement, the agent may remove goods from your property. The goods will then be sold to cover the balance outstanding and the agent's costs.