Local authority revenue recovery—policy and principles
Produced in partnership with Pritti Amin of Moon Beever
Local authority revenue recovery—policy and principles

The following Local Government practice note produced in partnership with Pritti Amin of Moon Beever provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Local authority revenue recovery—policy and principles
  • Types of debts to be recovered by local authorities
  • Importance of recovery of debts for local authorities
  • Policy issues
  • Impact on Recovery following R v Tottenham Magistrates 2015
  • Policy considerations of instructing bailiffs to recover debts
  • Policy issue or political pressure faced by local authorities in relation to revenue recovery

Local authority revenue recovery—policy and principles

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Note that pursuant to the Taking Control of Goods and Certification of Enforcement Agents (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020, SI 2020/451, in force from 25 April 2020, restrictions have been imposed on a landlord's right to exercise Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR) and to prevent enforcement agents taking control of goods. For further information, see Practice Note: Coronavirus (COVID-19)—implications for property — Restrictions on taking control of goods (including the exercise of CRAR).

Types of debts to be recovered by local authorities

A local authority debt recovery team deals in the collection either by the in-house team or through monitoring of out-sourced services of a number of liabilities owed to them including the following:

  1. council tax—a tax levied on households by local authorities in Britain, based on the estimated value of a property and the number of people living in it. See Practice Notes: Council tax and Council Tax Enforcement

  2. non-domestic rates—non-domestic rates, or business rates, are collected by billing authorities towards local services. See Practice Note: National non-domestic rates—billing recovery, exemptions and reliefs.

  3. parking fines—unauthorised parking (eg parking in disabled bays, on double yellow lines etc), exceeding parking time limits and parking without a ticket

  4. sundry debts—relatively small debts relating to unpaid rents, former tenants’ arrears, funeral costs and overpayments of housing benefit

  5. rent arrears—failure to pay or shortfall in payment

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