Council Tax Debt Help & Advice From The Experts

This report is about bailiffs who may call trying to collect Council Tax or Community Charge (Poll Tax) arrears. If a bailiff has contacted you to receive another type of debt the law may be different.


Private companies of bailiffs often collect council tax debts and Poll Tax on behalf of your regional council. They attempt to take away your goods and market them, usually sell them at auction, to raise the amount to pay the remaining money. The procedure they have to follow to say they need your merchandise is called distraining’ or ‘levying.’

From October 1998 bailiffs who call should be”certificated.” This means that they must have an authorized in the County Court allowing them to behave as bailiffs. You may complain to the County Court about a certificated bailiff.

By April 1998 you ought to get a letter in the Council telling you how much you owe and also warning you that a bailiff will phone if you don’t pay the debt in 14 days. It will also show you who to get at the council if you have a query. Speak to the board and try to arrange to pay what you can afford immediately. If the committee agrees they then can cease bailiffs calling out and rescue extra fees.

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