What happens if I don't pay?
Stage 1 Further Notice
If one instalment is missed a further notice will be issued advising you to pay the missing instalment within seven days. The notice will further advise that if you do not pay the instalment within seven days you will forfeit your right to pay by instalments and must pay the total balance in full within a further seven days.
If the instalment is paid within the first seven days and future instalments are paid on time, no further action will be taken.
Stage 2 Reminder Notice
A reminder notice will be issued if you;
A) have previously been issued with a further notice due to a missed or late instalment and you have then missed a second instalment.
B) if you have not paid a balance on a demand notice and you have no entitlement to the statutory instalment scheme because your liability has ended or the amount is payable for an older financial year.
Once a reminder notice has been issued you must pay the total balance in full within seven days.
Stage 3 Summons
Where a further notice or a reminder notice has been issued and the amount due has not been paid within the specified time period a summons will be issued and costs will be incurred.
A summons is a legal notice requiring that your case appear before the Magistrates' Court at a specified time and date. You are entitled to attend, however, there is no need to do so unless you dispute that you are liable to pay the business rates.
Please note, inability to pay is not a defence.
Valid defences are:
- you are not liable for the period stated on the demand notice
- the amount has not been demanded in accordance with the statutory regulations
- the amount has been paid in full
- more than six years has elapsed since the day on which the charge became due
- bankruptcy (including individual voluntary arrangements) receivership or winding up proceedings have been initiated.
If you have received a summons and are experiencing difficulty paying or you believe that you have a valid defense, you should contact Revenues Services on 0115 901 3946 before the Court hearing to discuss your situation.
Stage 4 Liability Order
If you have not paid your business rates in accordance with your demand notice then the Council will make complaint to the Magistrates' Court.
If the Court is satisfied that the debt is owed then will grant a Liability Order along with an order for costs. This order will compel you to make immediate payment of the total sum due. If a Liability Order is granted and you are unable to make full payment, you should contact Revenues Services on 0115 901 3946 to discuss repayment options.
If within seven days of the Court Hearing, you have not made full payment and and no repayment arrangement has been agreed, the Council will take further recovery action which may result in further costs.
Stage 5 Enforcement Agents
If you do not pay as requested and a Liability Order has been granted, the Council may choose to instruct Enforcement Agents to collect the debt, which may include the removing and selling of your possessions.
If your account has been passed to an Enforcement Agent, you must now contact the Agents to make arrangments for payment, you will also be liable to pay their fees.
Under The Taking Control of Goods (fee) Regulations 2014 there are fixed fees that an Enforcement Agent may recover from a debtor when carrying out enforcement work which are detailed below:-
- Ratepayers will have to pay a £75 Compliance fee as soon as the Council passes an unpaid account to the agent for collection, this fee is payable per individual Order.
- You will also have to pay a further enforcement fee of at least £235 if you do not make arrangements to pay or default on payments and a visit becomes necessary, this is a one off fee regardless of the number of Orders outstanding.
- You will have to pay at least a further £110 at the sale or disposal stage.
- A further 7.5% fee will also be charged on any additional amount above £1500, excluding fees, this is only chargeable at the enforcement or sale/disposal stages.
Gedling Borough Council employs the following Enforcement Agents
Rossendales LtdWavell HouseHolcombe RoadHelmshoreRossendaleBB4 4NB Telephone: 08447 013 980Website: www.rossendales.comEmail: Info@rossendales.com Jacobs4 Europa BoulevardBirkenheadWirralCH41 4PE Telephone: 0345 601 2692Website: www.jacobsenforcement.comEmail: firstname.lastname@example.org Equita Ltd42-44 Henry StreetNorthamptonNN1 4BZ Telephone: 01604 628 360Website: www.equita.co.ukEmail: email@example.com