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The Recovery Process

Reminders are sent addressed to all liable persons named on the bill. Please note that we do not have to send you a reminder each time you miss an instalment. By law, we are only required to send one reminder in any financial year.


If an overdue amount is paid by the date specified on a reminder then the liable person can continue to pay by monthly instalments.

If an overdue amount isn’t paid by the date specified on a reminder then the liable person will be summoned to court.

Final notice

A final notice explains to the liable person that they have lost the right to pay by instalments. If this is the case then the balance for the financial year should now be paid in full.

If the full amount is not paid within seven days, the liable person will be sent a summons. In some instances we may be willing to suspend the final notice and reinstate your instalments if you contact us to arrange to bring your account up to date and set up a direct debit instruction for future instalments.


A complaint is made to the magistrates’ court which allows a summons to be issued with the authority of the court. This will give the liable person(s) at least 14 days’ notice of the date of the court hearing.

The summons explains to the liable person(s) that the council intend to ask the magistrates to grant a liability order for the amount of business rates outstanding. The liability order will also cover the costs.

The liable person(s) does not have to attend court. You are only required to attend if you wish to dispute the granting of the liability order. Please note the magistrates will not consider any proposals for payment.

The purpose of the hearing is to consider the actual liability for payment of the rates. The court cannot consider your financial circumstances, your reasons for not paying or disputes about the rateable value of your premises.

If you choose not to attend, the hearing will continue in your absence and your case will be dealt with in accordance to law. If you feel you have a valid dispute against the issue of a liability order please contact a business rates officer before the hearing date. If payment of the full amount is made before the day of the court hearing, the application for a liability order will not proceed.