If you're having trouble making payments for your bill then there are some things we can do to help. The first thing you should do is contact us as soon as you can and we can try to help you.
What happens if you don't pay
If you forget to pay or pay late we'll always try to be sensitive to individual circumstances and make every effort to help whenever possible.
The biggest mistake businesses make when they fall behind with their rates is to simply do nothing. We cannot do anything to help unless you let us know there is a problem.
You can contact us on 01474 337564 and we will be able to advise you what you need to do. We might also be able to reschedule your payments.
If you are a non-profit making organisation, or a small business, you may be entitled to a reduction in your rates.
What happens if you miss a payment?
Any unpaid business rate bills will automatically get a further notice for any missed payments.
We will send you a further notice if you miss a payment. You must pay the amount shown on the notice within seven days. If you don't pay within seven days, you could be summoned to court for the balance of the year's rates.
We will send you only one further notice in any one financial year. If you keep missing payments you will lose your right to pay by monthly instalments and will have to pay the balance of the year's rates in full.
We will send out a reminder notice because you keep missing payments and have already had a further notice. In this case, the reminder notice will be for the balance of the year's rates. It could also be because you have left your premises without paying the business rates that are due.
The reminder notice will tell you how much is outstanding. You need to pay this in full within seven days. If you do not pay, you could be summoned to court.
If you don't respond to a further notice or a reminder notice, you will be sent a summons. This will tell you to appear in court on a given date. The only way to avoid the matter going to court is to pay the balance outstanding on the summons in full, including any costs that have been charged as a result of this.
If you don't pay, we will ask the court to grant a 'liability order'. This will give us the power to take further steps to recover the outstanding rates. This could mean that your account is passed to an enforcement agent (formerly bailiff) for collection. We could take insolvency action against your company or, if you are personally liable for the business rates, bankruptcy action against you.
At our discretion we can help you pay towards your bill if you're having difficulty paying. This is called Hardship Relief.
You'll need to tell us the reasons why you are struggling and supply financial statements and latest account information so that we can make a decision.
We have to consider the effect on local people when making our decision – for example if the business is about to fold and redundancies will be made. Please contact us as soon as you can to discuss this with us if you feel you need help in this way.