Council Tax Appeal - Any experience?

Spin_bowler

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Hi all,

We're just about to move home and have noticed amongst the paperwork that the house we're going to is in a Council Tax Band 'G' which seems a bit on the high side. It was built since the notional valuation date in 1991 but the sale price doesn't seem to justify the banding, if you see what I mean?

I have had a look on the direct.gov and local authority website and there's lots of information but I thought I'd chance my arm and see if anyone has any direct experience of going through the appeals process.

Thanks in advance.

Cheers
 
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wemorgan

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My parents appealed and won. IIRC they received 3-5 years of council tax back (the difference between old and new bands). If you don't ask, you don't receive. :)
 
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SilverSaloon

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i appealed and lost. they told me my next door neighbour was on a band too low rather than me being one too high, which i think is b0110x, but we didnt have any to claim back since we only moved in a few years ago but would of helped with future payments.

after speaking to the womon on the phone who told me all this, she sent me a letter to sign to say i agreed, i sent it back refusing and saying i dont agree and may take it back up with them in the future.
 

davidjpowell

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First of all you only have a right of appeal for a certain amount of time - I think it's 12 months after buying your home. After that you need to either look for a 'Material change' in the locality, or just persuade the Valuation Office that the assessment is wrong - they have a statutory duty to maintain a correct list.

Forget about comparing house prices now and working back to 1991. All the indices are different and deal with averages. Look at similar properties and where there assessment stands, and use that to make a judgement.

If you do appeal, some Valuation Officer's will compromise readily, some will stick. You are more likely to get a reduction on a house that is a little unusual, or older than on a modern estate where one change would affect lots of property.

Don't forget your assessment can go up as well as down, particularly if there are changes that the Valuation Office are not aware of. However sometimes it's worth a shot.

I appealed on a previous house. VO thought it was 3 bed, when it was 4. Having had that conversation I decided that I would not be available when he wanted to inspect the house, but after he knocked on the door my partner showed him around. Bizarrely we still got a reduction as two bedrooms were 'small'.

I used to specialise in the Business Rates department of a large firm of surveyors - hence picked up a bit of council tax knowledge on the side...
 

Chrishazle

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Have a look on the moneysavingexpert website about this - they / Jeremy Vine did a thing about it a couple of years ago, just after we moved to this house.
IIRC I used a property price calculator on the Nationwide BS website to calculate back from the sale price of this house in 2003 and 2007 to its price at "valuation date" - which I think is 11 April 1991. The 91 value was right on the boundary between E and F, but the house was rated G. I appealed and got the rating reduced to F without any problem - which has saved us over £300 just on this year!
Also IIRC you only have 6 months after you move house - if you appeal within that time they HAVE to consider your appeal, but after that they do not.
 
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Spin_bowler

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You are more likely to get a reduction on a house that is a little unusual, or older than on a modern estate where one change would affect lots of property.

Don't forget your assessment can go up as well as down, particularly if there are changes that the Valuation Office are not aware of. However sometimes it's worth a shot.
Thanks for this. I'm in two minds as I am, of course, aware it could go the wrong way. The house is slightly unusual in that its one of a cluster of three, differently-sized, houses built on a plot in the middle of nowhere. Its a four-bed but quite large in terms of square-footage.

If I compare it to other four beds in the area then the banding is definitely on the high-side but not knowing the dimensions of those that I'm comparing to I don't want to run the risk of it getting put up to an 'H' if the size of the internal space and total plot is a consideration in the Valuation Officer's mind.
 

Bobby Dazzler

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I posted a thread on here last year. Someone else appealed about a property I haven't owned since 2001, and I got a rebate going back to 1998-ish!!

So some people are successful...
 

alanf

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Late last year i received a letter from a valuations officer in Newcastle telling me i had overpaid since the inception of council tax and would be hearing from the council shortly. I did a few jigs round the house and then re-read it and it was from a Mr Snowball and as it was late in the year i was a bit suspicious. However a few days later the cheques started arriving with copies of my bills going back to 1992 IIRC and just in time for christmas. It's great getting something back off the council and all this happened as one of my neighbours made an enquiry. I don't know which one and don't like to ask as my next door neighbour was already a band lower and i felt awful when she checked her bill and realised she was getting nothing back. Not to awful to PMSL of course.

Alan
 

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