Reminders, summonses and enforcement

Struggling to pay your Business Rates

Redbridge Council may grant relief to a ratepayer who would suffer hardship if they paid the whole bill. View the criteria for considering applications for Discretionary rate relief (PDF 52KB)

If you wish to apply, you must write to us giving your reasons. Any decision to grant relief is made by the Cabinet. 

A half of the cost of this hardship falls directly on Council Taxpayers. To ensure that Council Taxpayers' money is being well spent, we must ensure that granting this type of relief benefits the wider community as well as the ratepayer concerned. Therefore to receive relief, a business would need to demonstrate it was a vital local amenity and the only one of that type in the area.

The usual method of payment is by 10 monthly instalments, from April to January. This number will be reduced where bills are produced later in the year.

 

Paying your Business Rates on time

Ratepayers are required to make their payments by the due dates shown on their bills and it is essential payments are received by the Council on or before the due date. Where payments are not received on time, recovery action will commence immediately. 

The Council will only send you one payment reminder notice in any business rate year - this runs from April 1 to March 31 of the next year. 

If you miss a payment or your payments are made late, you will be sent by post a payment reminder notice. The notice will tell you the amount required to bring your account up to date. You must bring your payments up to date within 7 days of the date on the reminder notice. As long as you do this, you can continue paying by monthly instalments. 

If you do not bring your payments up to date within 7 days, after a further 7 days you will lose your right to pay by instalments and the balance of your account to the end of the business rate year must be paid immediately, otherwise a summons may be issued. 

If you miss a payment or pay late again in the same business rate year, a final notice will be sent to you by post and your right to pay by instalments will be cancelled. The balance of your account to the end of the business rate year must be paid immediately otherwise a summons may be issued.

If you do not pay the business rates due, the council will apply to the local Magistrates' Court for a summons to be issued. The issue of a summons will incur legal costs of £214.50, which you will have to pay and if you do not pay the full amount of business rates and costs before the court hearing and a liability order is issued further legal costs of £13.50 will also become payable. 

 

If you receive a summons

If you are unable to pay the amount shown on the summons you should contact us immediately on 020 8708 4357 to discuss your account. We will be able to advise you on the best course of action and offer a payment arrangement. If the amount remains unpaid we will seek a liability order at the Court Hearing.

You have the opportunity to attend the Court although the hearing is only to determine your liability, not your ability to pay. Any questions relating to rateable value will not be dealt with by the Court, you will need to contact the Valuation Office.

Where payment of the amount shown on the summons is not made, or a payment arrangement has not been agreed, further recovery action will be taken. This may include the use of Enforcement Agents (previously known as Bailiffs), bankruptcy or liquidation and ultimately imprisonment.

 

Change in Business Rate Enforcement

Enforcement Agents (Bailiffs) and fees charged

The Ministry of Justice, a Department of Central Government, has made changes to the fees that Enforcement Agents can charge, in order to make the enforcement process more transparent and structured. These changes came into effect on 6 April 2014.

Full details of the Regulations are contained in "The Taking Control of Goods (Fees) Regulations 2014, Statutory Instrument No.1.

Compliance Stage

If a Liability order is issued by the Magistrates' Court, this can be passed to an Enforcement Agent for collection. Once they receive the Liability Order, a fee of £75 becomes payable in respect of each Liability Order referred to the Enforcement Agent.

On receipt of each Liability Order, the Enforcement Agent will issue a written Notice of Enforcement that provides you a minimum period of 7 clear days in which to pay the outstanding Business Rates or reach an agreement for payment with them.

During the Compliance Stage, the Enforcement Agent may also contact you by other means including telephone, text or email.

 

Enforcement stage

Following the expiry of the Compliance Stage, the Enforcement Agent will visit your property to seek to "Take Control of Goods". This action will add a further fee of £235. If the debt you owe exceeds £1500, further fees will be payable. (See table below)

At this stage you may still enter into a payment plan acceptable to the Enforcement Agent, known as a "Controlled Goods Agreement". This will prevent immediate removal of the goods seized.

 

Fees - Take Control of Goods

If the Enforcement Agent is unable to agree a payment arrangement or collect the amount outstanding, they must take control of your possessions.  If this is necessary they are taken to a place of sale or are sold and a further fee of £110 will be payable. If the debt you owe exceeds £1,500, further fees will be payable in addition to the £110.

 

Enforcement Stage - £235.00

 

Percentage Fees

 Percentage Fees

 Fixed Fee

£0 - £1500

 Over £1,500

£235.00

0%

7.5%

 

Sale or Disposal Stage - £110.00

 

Percentage Fees

Percentage Fees

Fixed Fee

£0 - £1,500

Over £1,500

£110.00

0%

7.5% 

If you have made an arrangement, the Liability Order will be held until the agreed payment plan is cleared. If you receive any notice from the us regarding the non-payment of your Business Rate, do not ignore it, as this may mean that further action will be taken with additional costs being incurred.

 

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