Non-Domestic Rates - Outstanding Payments
We should receive payment of the instalments printed on your rates bill on or prior to the payment date printed on your bill.
In accordance with revised legislation which came into law on 1 April 2021, if you do not make payment of the instalments printed on your current year rates bill, we will take the following steps to recover the unpaid rates:
- once an instalment is unpaid, we will issue you with a Reminder-Notice;
- the reminder will list the instalment arrears and the balance of your rates account;
- the reminder will ask you to make payment of the instalment arrears within seven days of its date of issue;
- if the instalment arrears remain unpaid, you will have a further seven days to make payment of the outstanding balance of your rates account;
- if you do not make payment of the outstanding balance of your rates account, or do not contact us, we will apply to the Sheriff Court for a Summary Warrant. If granted a ten per cent surcharge will be added to your rates account.
We will continue to issue Final Notices for unpaid balances on terminated rates accounts and on accounts for earlier financial years.
If you do not pay the balance on a Reminder-Notice or a Final Notice issued to you, or fail to contact us to arrange payment, we may apply to the Sheriff Court for a Summary Warrant. We do not need to contact you before applying for it.
If the Sheriff is satisfied with our application and grants us a warrant against you, a surcharge of 10% of your outstanding balance will be added to your account and we will issue a warrant to you. It will state:
- the account balance
- the surcharge amount - added to your account following the grant of a Summary Warrant
- the amount payable - the total of the account balance and the surcharge, which is now due to be paid in full
- the date by which the amount payable should be paid in full - seven days after its issue date
If you do not pay a warrant issued to you, or fail to contact us to arrange payment, we may pass your account to the Council's Sheriff Officers. We work with the Sheriff Officers to enforce payment of unpaid Non-Domestic Rates. They will exercise on behalf of the Council the additional enforcement measures which may be taken against you following the grant of a Summary Warrant.
The Sheriff Officers will initially write to you requesting payment. If payment is not made, or you fail to contact them to discuss payment, they may take action to enforce payment. Some of the powers available to them are:
- arrestment of a debtor's bank account
- sequestration of a debtor
- attachment ('legal seizure') of a debtor's moveable goods, with the option of selling these at public auction or the seizure of cash held on the debtor's premises
The performance of enforcement action will result in additional fees being incurred by the debtor.
We view these enforcement measures as a last resort, which should only be used against debtors who refuse to make payment of their legally incurred debts. We would prefer to deal directly with Non-Domestic Rates debtors at an early stage, resolving problems which prevent payment being made and negotiating, where possible, realistic payment arrangements.