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Business Rates - Can't pay, in hardship so making small payments....what kind of trouble can I get into?

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I run a small business in South London, the council recently put up the rates to nearly £400 and thats WITH the small business rate reduction, its extreme and I can just about afford the rent let alone the rates, I owe them around £3400 or close to that, baliffs attempted to levy etc and thanks to this forum I wrote back and they left me alone and I've not heard from them since.


I have been making payments of 40-50 a month for the past 9 months


I had a call recently saying I had to call them back.


I have also written to ask for relief but none was granted as they said I was in debt so wouldnt make any difference to me if they wrote the rates off. I have told them in the letter I was willing to pay but only what I an afford, It's definately gone to "court" but I have just left it alone really.


I'm planning to carry on making small payments as I can afford, whats should I be prepared for?



Edited by altcompany
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Truthfully most Councils are out only to get as much as they can out of you. We had the same dealing with Birmingham Council and in the end had to shut the shop as couldnt afford the rent and rates. Some councils do run hardship schemes or grants so perhaps you could enquire if one is available in your area. Just phone up and ask!!! Its often info they dont want to talk about until you do.


Try and keep everything away from the baliffs and courts as they will only increase your bills. Dont expect much help from the Council and I hate to say it but think about closing as its better to cut your losses earlier than later - as I have learned much to my expense and will still spend years paying off. Once it goes to court they will just say pay up if you havent shut down (I think).


Have you tried your local Business Link for official advice???

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They refused my claim for hardship support, I'm not planning on leaving since I have invested alot of money into the premises, I was just planning to pay what I can, I refused to deal with Bailiffs and they can't walk in as I'm a warehouse not a shop, not open to public...I'm planning just to continue making what payments I can afford, no more....I have no assets they can take either, nothing so in that sense I'm in a good position.

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