If you don't pay your business rates
If you're experiencing financial difficulties and can't afford to pay your business rates, you should contact us immediately so that we can check to make sure you receive the discounts and reliefs that you may be entitled to.
If you do not contact us and continue to default on your payments, action will be taken to recover any money outstanding. This will involve the issue of a Magistrates' Court summons, and could result in enforcement agent action, insolvency or even committal to prison (enforcement agents or enforcement companies were previously known as bailiffs).
If you do not pay the full amount or fail to keep to the arrangement agreed, we will apply to the Court for a liability order against the account. This grants us further powers to collect any amounts outstanding. The account will then be issued to an enforcement agent who will collect the money on our behalf.
Enforcement agent action
Once your account has been issued to the enforcement agent, you should make any payments directly to them. 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 made with the enforcement agent, the enforcement agent may remove goods from your property. The goods will then be sold to cover the balance outstanding and the enforcement agent's costs.
If the enforcement agent is unable to collect the amount due, we will begin insolvency proceedings to wind up your company or put you into bankruptcy. As a last resort, we retain the right to commence committal proceedings, which could result in a term of imprisonment.
We employ the following enforcement companies:
42-44 Henry Street
Phone: 01604 628 360
Marston Group Ltd (formerly Drakes Group Ltd)
Phone: 0300 456 2773
Bristow & Sutor Ltd
Phone: 0871 677 0070
JBW Group Ltd
Phone: 0330 1070 023
59 Clarke Road
Phone: 01604 633001
The Old Council Offices
53 Northampton Road
Phone: 08456 585030
The enforcement agent process from April 2014
1. The enforcement agent administration stage is where the enforcement agent starts initial contact with the debtor. This results in administration fees, but allows the debtor a period of notice to come to a payment arrangement.
2. The next stage is the enforcement stage and involves visiting the debtor's property. This attracts a set fee to cover all work at enforcement stage plus a further percentage fee for debts over a certain value.
3. If goods are seized, the sale of goods stage attracts further costs including fees to cover the removal of goods and the costs of re-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