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Council tax bands

Discussion in 'OT (OFF Topic) Forums' started by Carrotchomper, Jan 20, 2008.

  1. Carrotchomper

    Carrotchomper Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I KNOW there's someone here who will know- There always is.:D

    I've recently bought a new build 2-bed flat in the centre of Bristol for £210,000. Regardless of the folly of such a purchase in current climate, I have just had the council tax rating notice through.

    Band D. Which is a heck of a lot of money (£1500/year), and I was very surprised that it was so high. I was expecting a couple of bands lower.

    The letter mentions a right of appeal, but I can't think on what grounds I could do so. I was speaking to a friend last night who lives in a 2-bed flat in a similarly pleasant part of Bristol- Another in the same block was recently sold for £230k-ish. And his place is Band B?!? It just doesn't make sense.

    Any ideas on the likelihood of an appeal succeeding? I know it's a complex calaculation based on the value in 1991, or something. But obviously my flat wasn't around in 1991. :confused: :confused:
     
  2. kjay

    kjay Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Yeah, got mine lowered last year and got some knocked off 06/07 bill.

    They rushed the valuations in 91. So quite a lot are inacurate.

    With a bit of searching on t'internet and you can get a good idea of wether you're been overcharged.

    Search for your propertys value around 1991. And see if the banding seems wrong.

    Fairly easy to get it corrected - just ask for a form, fill it in and send it back. Will probably take 2-3 months.
    Nice if you could get some money back and also helps when you come to sell your house.

    Jay:)





    Edit - Sorry just realised you said new build. Just ask for a form then and send it in.
     
  3. robert.saunders

    robert.saunders Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    May go up; may go down. My Mum did this with her new build (20 houses on the estate) and she wasn't happy with the bill. She filled in her form. Tax was duly altered - upwards. Along with the rest of the estate
     
  4. maddog

    maddog Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Presumably its because it is a new build .

    Our place has a mark next to it because we extended so no doubt we will get hammered next time things are recalculated , in the meantime i've noticed we are one band lower than one neighbour and 2 bands lower than another whose house is a lot smaller than ours, so i'm keeping stummm

    I cant see what harm a recalculation would do has to be worth a try
     
  5. richard

    richard Authorised Forum Sponsor Authorised Forum Sponsor

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    I know this is a new one, but you can look on nethouseprices.co.uk at nearby flats of similar size and look at what they were sold for

    This is incredibly useful if buying a house/flat - you can see exactly what neighboring houses/flats were sold for. Or if you're nosey as to what your neighbours paid for the houses.

    The bulk data is about 3 months out of date, so if you want a specific case that is newer, you can pay £3 for a land registry entry from http://www.landregisteronline.gov.uk/
    You can then see who the mortgage provider is, as they have a charge listed on the land registry entry.

    Personally, I think this is another case of too much info been made too public by the government. When the bulk child benefit data was lost, on its own there was so much data that the chance of fraud against anyone particular person wasn't too bad. However, if you indexed the addresses in that data against the land-registry data you could then create a set of bank accounts details for people living in valuable property - now that is good for fraudsters. And of course, the births and deaths registers are coming online, so you can now get mothers maiden name, marriage dates etc - all the common stuff that are used for security identification...

    Richard
     
  6. davidjpowell

    davidjpowell Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Hi

    In my view you will struggle. You have an automatic right of appeal for 6 months after moving into a property, after that there has to be a material change in circumstances, which most be physical (ie. not recession!) and must affect the property. An example would be somebody building a block of apartments blocking your nice harbourside view!

    To appeal you must fill in a simple form which can be done online at www.voa.gov.uk . I would have a quick look at other assessment on that site, and as long as similar apartments are not assessed at higher rates, it is worth a go.

    I think you are unlikely to get anywhere as the Valuation Office will not have any Bristol city centre apartment blocks sold in '91 (at least I can't think of any). They will simply quote all the 2/3 bed apartments (or whatever) that they have assessed including 1 or 2 that have been to Valuation Tribunal. You will find it very hard to disprove the '91 value.

    The other reason why they will resist is because of they agree yours is too high it will impact on other assessments which they will have to alter. Looks bad for the stats as the goverment has them on a target for accuracy.

    There is more chance of success on inidvidual propertys where a reduction will not reflect so immediately on others, or if there is a clear display of error - 3 bed in same bad as 4 beds.

    Just for providence I used to deal with Business Rates for a National Surveying Practice, so from time to time came accross Council Tax.

    David
     
  7. Mr E

    Mr E Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I'd love to understand the logic behind this.....

    We appealed our previous house 10 years ago and were not successful. The people we sold it to appealed and it was moved down 2 bands! Both appeals on the same grounds (houses either side of ours were large 4/5 bed detached while we had a small 3 bed detached cottage and so should not be banded the same - we had bought by auction which the VOA said was not a basis for fair market valuation).

    Only upside was getting nearly £2k back from the council as a refund :)
     
  8. davidjpowell

    davidjpowell Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    More thank likely just a different Valuation Officer.

    I appealed our previous house, not really expecting to get anywhere. It was an old farm house so a little bit distinctive. I spoke to the VO who told me it was 3 bed (it wasn't - actually 4 bed). He wanted to inspect, but I was not too keen for that to happen for obvious reasons, so was not available. He knocked on the door anyway and my partner let him round.:devil: .

    On speaking to him he agreed that 2 of the bedrooms were too small so went down one band.

    If the VO is in a good mood, and isn't going to create work for him/herself you just never know....

    David
     
  9. crockers

    crockers Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    This is your grounds for an appeal.... not comparing it to a friends in a differing block.. Its a combination of values circa 1991 and potential rentals...but B v D in the same block with same number of beds puts you in a strong position to get it reduced OR get all the others increased...:eek:
     
  10. DITTRICH

    DITTRICH Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    As richard said house price data from the land registry is on the internet on a variety of websites some of which are free. This is the best route to determining how much your place is really worth.
    Les
     
  11. davidjpowell

    davidjpowell Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    In my view it doesn't really help. There won't have been any / much new build property in '91 in the centre of Bristol (very quiet market then). The VO would explain this at Tribunal and then state x, y and z all appealed and settled / lost at Valuation Tribunal so we must be right.

    IMHO Tribunal nearly always side with VO unless strong evidence counters it or the VO annoys them, so VT would dismiss the appeal.

    IF VO accepts that it is too high before this, then that probably means that other city centre flats are also too high so to do his legal duty and maintain a fair and correct ratling list he would have to alter all.

    Your best arguement is why is mine in D and that one in B, unless there are good reasons such as views / size which affect the property differently.

    Current values have nothing to do with '91 market, and even different pricing in the same block the VO would argue is economic factors so to be disregarded (as would not affect '91 valuation and not physical changes).

    I had this argument on a new build apartment on the edge of Weston Super Mare when the estate did not exist in '91 and lost.

    In my view it's not going to happen, but as long as your confident that your not underassessed - go for it anyway!

    David
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2008
  12. merc-c

    merc-c Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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  13. oldcro

    oldcro Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    The band is decided by the price, size, location and whatever band the assessor feels like giving. If you complain the house next door sold for the same price, then yours is a higher band due to its location and size. If next door is twice as big but the same band, it is due to the price and location. If next door is in a lower band than yours, it is due to the price, size and location.

    In other words the assessor can put you in virtually any band he chooses and it is almost impossible to get him to admit his error. I know, iv'e tried and failed, and still believe he cheated me but cannot prove it.
     
  14. davidjpowell

    davidjpowell Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    The scottish system andit's employees in my experience are more 'challenge resistant'. I don't see much from the Assesors office and am quite happy to keep it that way!

    David
     
  15. OP
    OP
    Carrotchomper

    Carrotchomper Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Thanks for that, I will have a look around other properties nearby and a think about it. The only reason that I can think of at the moment is that I currently have a decent view of the river and SS Great Britain. I clearly know there is going to be significant building to block this out within the next 2 years- I bought the flat knowing this, and it was priced accordingly.

    If, as you say, they've done a "Second gear valuation" then this may well have been a factor in the high banding. Despite the blatantly obvious building site in the middle!

    I tend to think I have little to lose, I can't see it going any higher, but need to find some facts to back up my assertions! This is the kind of thing that could make me either a) Very popular or b) Very unpopular with the block!

    On a second note, BCC have wasted no time in sending me the revised bill until the end of the tax year. They are demanding the £350 balance by the middle of next month, no instalment options, which I feel is a bit churlish, given it's taken so long to arrive!
     
  16. OP
    OP
    Carrotchomper

    Carrotchomper Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Thanks- My friends live across Bristol, and it's the other flat in THEIR block that has just been sold for £250k. Believe me, if it was here I would be champing at the bit!!
     
  17. davidjpowell

    davidjpowell Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    BCC may give you other options if you speak to them.

    David
     
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