Many people across the country occasionally find themselves unable to make a Council Tax payment on time, often due to circumstances outside of their control. Councils are bound by national regulations which states what course of action they must take to recover the money.

After sending initial and reminder letters, if the outstanding debt is not paid then a third ‘final notice’ letter will be sent, requiring the remaining Council Tax for the whole of the current year to be paid within seven days.

In Havering, this would mean that if a Band C household missed the first payment (in April), they would be required to pay the whole £1,536.59 for the year straight away.

The Residents’ Association of Emerson Park have added their support to the Local Government Association’s (LGA) call for regulations to be changed so that local authorities are no longer required to collect the whole years Council Tax following a single missed payment and for councils to be allowed to use other methods to recover money without having to go to the courts.

If you are in the position where you are unable to make a Council Tax payment it is important that you let Havering Council know straight away so that arrangements can be made to help you. Their advice page can be found via this link or you can contact the Havering Welfare Rights Unit by e-mail at or on 01708 434 444.