We are keen to support our residents as much as possible during these unprecedented and difficult times.
Council Tax bills for 2020/21 have started arriving at homes and while we have a statutory responsibility to collect Council Tax, we’d like to reassure residents that our number one priority is your safety and wellbeing.
We will be as flexible as possible for those whose income or circumstances are affected by coronavirus.
We are offering help by allowing people to pay over 12 months instead of the usual ten or by delaying the ten-month payment plan to start in June instead of April.
We understand that some people prefer to pay their Council Tax in person at the Post Office or at a PayPoint outlet. This may not be possible if, for example, you are staying at home in line with the Government’s guidance or are avoiding public places in response to advice on social distancing. Please don’t worry, we are here to help.
The easiest ways to pay are by Direct Debit, online via debit or credit card, or by phone 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, on 01623 428632. You can find full details on our Council Tax pages.
If you are experiencing difficulty in paying your Council Tax contact us on 01623 463463 (option 3) or email firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible.
There is also expected to be a Hardship Fund available to support working age people who receive Local Council Tax Support. The remaining liability of their 2020/21 bill will be reduced by up to £150. We are awaiting further guidance from the Government on this and other hardship support and will provide updates through its website, social media channels and email newsletter as soon as it can.
Council tenancy support
If you are a council tenant and your finances are affected by coronavirus, please contact us at the earliest opportunity so we can work with you. We will be as flexible as possible dealing with any issues resulting from coronavirus.
Tenants may be able to get support to meet their rent and Council Tax through claiming:
- Housing Benefit or Universal Credit (Housing Element)
- Council Tax Reduction Scheme or
- Discretionary Housing Payment.
Renters in private or social accommodation do not need to worry about the threat of eviction after the Government announced that landlords will not be able to start eviction proceedings for at least a three-month period.
Homeowners are reminded that they can request up to a three-month mortgage payment holiday from your mortgage lender.
Landlords can also apply for a three-month payment holiday on Buy-To-Let mortgages, which will also ease the pressure on landlords and tenants.
Housing Benefit claims
Most people needing housing support are paid via Universal Credit now. This is not managed by us but by the Department for Work and Pensions.
However, some people in the district are still paid Housing Benefit and these claims continue to be managed by us.
We can still accept paper Housing Benefit forms. They can be posted to us via Royal Mail or posted directly through our letter box while the Civic Centre is closed. You can do it while out for your daily exercise session while still practising social distancing rules.
If we need any extra information to support the claim, we can receive that by post or by email at email@example.com. Please remember to include your email address and telephone number on the form as this will help us to process claims more quickly if we need to ask for more information.
We are here to help and find solutions to any problems to allow claims to progress as quickly as possible.
Any known changes to procedures will be updated promptly on our website and communication channels so keep checking, or sign up to get council e-news updates by email.
Our Housing Department also has its own Financial Inclusion Officer who can advise and assist all Mansfield residents (not just council tenants) with claiming welfare, DWP and HMRC benefits. If you could benefit from this support, get in touch with Michelle Males on 07956 539743.
Suspension of legal and enforcement action
We have suspended legal and enforcement action to help residents and businesses deal with the fallout from coronavirus.
No legal summonses will be issued by us for a four month period, which will be reviewed in line with the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, there will be no new action or contact by enforcement agents.
The measures will apply to Council Tax, business rates, council housing rent and all other debts to the local authority. It is very important that anyone having difficulty paying money owed as a result of COVID-19 please get in touch as soon as possible.
Updated 3 April 2020
Due to the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, this information is subject to change and we advise that you check our website for regular updates.