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Council Tax Rebanding SUCCESS stories
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Old 10-01-2007, 11:02 AM   #1
MSE Archna
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Update 25 Jan 2014

Forumite lanerideruk joined the forum just last week to let us know he's successfully reclaimed 19 years' worth of council tax - 2,400! Join and let us know too.

Read how to do it yourself:
Council Tax Cashback


This thread is especially for reporting your successes in getting your council tax rebanded plus refunds.

The aim is to show others that it works.

Please report your successes here, if possible in the format:

Local Borough Council:
Council Tax Band Before:
Council Tax Band After:
Amount refunded:
Annual saving going forward:

Plus if possible a few details on your experiences.IMPORTANT NOTE! This thread is only to report succcesses

Please note this thread is ONLY for reporting successes/experiences. It isn't for answering questions, discussing what to do, or postulating on the general issues; any posts of that nature will be deleted. If you want to do that please instead go to the Discussion on Council Tax Cost Cutting

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Last edited by MSE Andrea; 01-02-2014 at 2:39 PM.
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# 2
Old 10-01-2007, 3:51 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: London, England
Posts: 8
Talking Thank you Hillingdon!

Local Borough Council: Hillingdon, Middlesex.
Council Tax Band Before: E
Council Tax Band After: D
Amount refunded: 1,700

Thankfully it was simplicity itself to get this sorted out.

Having looked in the council tax banding website I found out that my semi-detached was in band E whilst the semi-detached next door was in band C.
Since the maisonettes on the other side of my house were also band C I figured there was an issue. It took about four phone calls to find the right group to speak to, but once I did they were very helpful. They explained roughly how long it would take (four to six weeks) and how I would be notified (by letter).

In about five weeks I got a letter explaining that my house was being re-banded to D and a small leaflet explaining that if I owed them money I would have to pay it straight away, but no mention was made of if they owed me. I telephoned them to discuss it and was told that the cheque was in the post, and lo' and behold a couple of days later it appeared!

Thanks Hillingdon for the cash and thanks Martin for the information!

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# 3
Old 10-01-2007, 4:01 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 17
Default Small but important change

Band B
Band A

In 2004 I got moved from band B to A, from 693 to 675, which doesnt sound like a lot! but I think it might be because it was changed when the new rates were issued.
Anyway it made a difference as this year I am paying 753 instead of 879 so overall I have saved a few hundred pounds. The whole process was easy and settled in about a month, I wrote to them in May and got the change agreed in June. I didnt get a refund but I'd only been living there a few months so it wouldn't have been much.
It all happened pretty smoothly. What annoyed me is that I only found out it was possible because my neighbours told me it was possible, because they had experience of being in the wrong band but found out too late to get it changed.
Mine is a small one bed flat over a shop so it was obviously wrong, especially when the next door, bigger flat was in the lower band already.

Just proves that its always worth being nice to your neighbours, you never know what you might find out.
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# 4
Old 10-01-2007, 4:22 PM
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Red face Worth the 20 minutes it took.

Local Borough Council: Surrey Heath
Council Tax Band Before: E
Council Tax Band After: D
Amount refunded: 900

Thanks Martin.
I assumed when I moved into my Property in 2004 that it was in the same band as my other neighbours as they are all similar.
When I read your article and found the link to show that I was in a higher band I filled in the online form and waited. I assumed that as it was over 6 months since I moved in there was little chance of a rebate.
Within 2 weeks I had a letter from the Valuation office saying they had an obligation to reassess and may require a visit.
3 weeks later (no visit) I have had my band changed form E to D and a rebate from the council for about £900.

Good Result for very little effort.

Last edited by rekojem; 10-01-2007 at 4:25 PM.
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# 5
Old 10-01-2007, 5:33 PM
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I have been told that because I have been in my house for over 6 months, I am not entitled to a re-evalutation (St Albans District) - When I spoke to my local VOA office, they have said that they will look into it as I was not informed of this banding when I bought the house and as I was a first time buyer, how was I to know these things? Think that solicitors should inform buyers of this. Am waiting for a response now - will probably be 4-6 weeks. Will keep you posted
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# 6
Old 10-01-2007, 6:36 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 11
Smile Easy when you know how!

Local Borough Council: Winchester, Hampshire
Council Tax Band Before: E
Council Tax Band After: D
Amount refunded: nil

We moved into a house that was originally built as it is, but joined with next door in 2001 and resplit last year. They were originally D and when the split was done it was upped to an E. I decided to appeal to see why this was, as the other houses on the road, of similar type were D, and only the detached ones were E. I did this on the website as a result of one of the moneysaving emails towards the end of last year!

I got lots of letters acknowledging my appeal, and they set up some kind of hearing and it all seemed quite heavyweight. But then a lady rang me and said she would come out an look at the house. She did, and said that the raise was because the garage was converted into a room. However she said since they were selling at the low end of the band in 1991, she wouldn't expect the garage conversion to put it up a whole band.

So we got a form in the post saying we agree to the proposed change, and sent it back! We're awaiting our updated bill now.

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# 7
Old 10-01-2007, 7:32 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Birmingham
Posts: 30

Birmingham City Council
band before B
band after A
refunded £550

i moved into my home December 03-like many before me on this tread, its one thing you dont check up on when you move in.
Thanks to this site i read the 'check your council band'
thread and checked the site out - i found that i was the only bungalow in band B, all the others were band A, (small properties) the houses were all in band B. I promptly wrote off asking for a review, the initial responce was to say that i didnt fit the criteria for claiming as i had been in my property longer than the 6 months stated but they would review and get back to me, should i want to appeal i could do.
At the time i had lots going on and didnt get round to appealing - 3 weeks later i got a letter saying that as they hadnt heard they were taking it that i wasnt appealling, however, they had, as promised reviewed my banding and they were continuing to look at the situation. Two weeks later i received a letter rebanding my property into A.
I rang them the next day and asked if i would be refunded the differance for the last 3 years, i was informed that they only rebanded and any claim would be against the local authority. I contact Birmingham CC and spoke to a very helpful lady who informed me that a cheque was in the post and i didnt need to pay any further payments for 2006/7.
I worked out that the amount i was refunded was around £550; cheque plus no further payments.

I can not thank the site enough for the valued information.

In 2006 i will have reclained over £3000 in bank charges and council tax repayments, thats without calculating the savings from special offers and freebies plus using the information on utility savings and comparing goods prices.
I sing the praises of all the consumer sites to any one who will listen and i know that others have gone on to claim monies back.

thanks one and all
1221.61p. Total bank charges reclaimed from Allicance and Leicester.

80total bank charges claimed from MBNA

120 bank charges Barcleycard

council tax band reduced from B to A - refunded last two years differance.300.
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# 8
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Old 10-01-2007, 8:00 PM
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Location: Cheshire
Posts: 780

Hi all

In response to martins email I wanted to share my success story. I followed the guidelines on the site and succeeded in re banding from c to b after checking the banding of my neighbours, many are still in c, but some others must have appealed at some stage.

I also checked out what my property was likely to be worth in 1991, that's when the banding was done. ( I think it was on the halifax website) It indicated the value as below the band c value. I used this info in my appeal

Refund back dated to 1999 total 491.00

Simple to do.

Thanks for the info Martin!
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# 9
Old 11-01-2007, 2:57 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1
Arrow Rate re-branding

Local Borough Council: Chesterfield
Council Tax Band Before: E
Council Tax Band After: D
Amount refunded: 2641.98

Having read the article on rate bandings, I clicked onto the local valuation office (Derby) and found that the houses around me were on band D - some with extensions, which I didn't, so I then clicked further to register a complaint -simple as that.
I quickly received a letter explaining that when the banding was created some 13 years ago, residents were informed that they had 6 months in which to contest the banding.
(In those days (and even today), you could hardly go knocking on your neighbours doors and asking which band they were in!)
However, the letter also said that, as long as I accepted their final decision, they would look into it and if they found that there had been an error, they would consider the case. Fair enough, which I accepted.
A week or two later I received a re-banding letter from E to D, but it was also back-dated to April 1993!
Lo and behold, my local council quickly sent me a wad of credit notes for 13 years amounting to 2641.98!
But before anybody complains, make sure the result cannot back-fire and that they are pushed up a band instead!
Thank you Martin!
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# 10
Old 13-01-2007, 9:42 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 396

Local Borough Council: Sheffield
Council Tax Band Before: B
Council Tax Band After: A
Amount refunded: 458.31

I applied having lived in my house for 3 years. Initially re-banding appeal was rejected on the grounds I was out of time but I persevered. I supplied details of the valuation price in 1993 (property was owned by family member prior to me hence my having a valuation going back so far). I supplied details of other similar properties and also properties of greater size/value that were banded at the lower band. I also used the Nationwide house price calculator to show the value in 1991. Whole process took approx 6 weeks. I did have a visit from a valuations officer which was very simple & painless, it took approx 10mins.
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# 11
Old 17-01-2007, 10:42 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 203
Smile gone down a band!

Local Council: East Riding of Yorkshire
Previous Band: C
Now in Band: B
Refund: £369.14

This my first post and its good news as you can see. I had thought for ages that my 2 bedroomed end terrace should be in a band B and not a C but was under the impression I had missed the boat as hadn't queried it within 6 months of moving in (which was May 2003). After reading Martins article I rang the local valuation office who said they would look into it, they came round and measured the house not long after and a month later I got a letter (yesterday) saying it had been altered. I then rang the council who said a refund of £369.14 would be 'on the way'

It will go towards a holiday that we thought we might not be able to afford this year!

Thanks Martin

Last edited by melg1973; 17-01-2007 at 10:46 AM.
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# 12
Old 17-01-2007, 2:09 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 12
Smile Thanks from Big_Al51 in Sutton in Ashfield

Local Council: Ashfield
Previous Band: E
New Band: D

Thanks to Martin and the wake-up call in his article on reducing Council Tax. Thanks to reading this article I went through my old documents and lo and behold found that I had a valuation carried out in 1996 for a re-mortgage, which valued my property at £80,000. I was paying Band E which was for properties valued at £88,000 - £120,000 in 1991!

I contacted the valuation office as the article suggested. It has taken them 6 weeks to deal with the re-banding, but about half an hour ago I heard that my property was going to be moved to a Band D. Not only that, but I am due for a refund of all money overpaid since 1993. A great result. Thanks again Martin.

I don't know how much the refund will amount to but it will certainly be helpful.

UPDATE:- From Ashfield Council today

Your refund has been actioned and you will receive a cheque within the next two weeks in the sum of £2280.94.

Keep up the good work.


Big Al

Last edited by Big_Al51; 25-01-2007 at 12:18 AM.
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# 13
Old 18-01-2007, 12:56 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 9
Default council tax sucess story

Local Borough Council - Shrewsbury & Atcham Borough Council
Band before change -E
Band after change - D
Amount Refunded -1775.43

We had a lovely surprise last June when my mothers' neighbour told her to expect a refund and rebanding of council tax band for the style of house we live in. My parents also have the same style house on a newish housing estate and her neighbour works for the land registry. We had 71/2 years of over payments refunded as a cheque and didn't have to make any more payments for the rest of this financial year. In total we saved 1775.43. My parents had slightly less refunded as they had not been there as long as us.
Good fortune is never permanent though as we then had a request to payback child tax credit overpayment, but it wasn't very much so can't complain really.
No reliance should be placed on the above.

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# 14
Old 18-01-2007, 2:05 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Wiltshire
Posts: 8,507

Local Council: North Wilts
Band Before: G
Band After: F
Refund: £2600

Was already living in house when CT introduced, never even crossed my mind that 100% identical house next door would be different Band.
Discovered this after reading cases on MSE, just being nosey and seeing what other people's Bands were (Live in a village, with very few houses the same).
Wrote to local VOA office saying that I was one band higher than the identical house next door - VOA said I should have appealed within 6 months of the valuation in 1991.
Wrote back saying, amongst other things, that it was not realistic for me to check all the other CT valuations in my village to see if mine was correct. They rejected this - which I then appealed against. I then received notice to attend a Valuation Tribunal to argue my case. However, before I attended the Tribunal, I received notification that my Band had been changed from G to F, as a result of a "clerical or valuation error".
I then phoned my local Council who said they would refund the overpayment back to '93. THEN - they sent me about half the overpayment, the cheeky b*****s had helped themselves to the rest of the current year's CT in advance !!!! despite the fact that I always paid monthly.
After a meaningfull telephone call, they sent me the rest.

Although the VOA rejected my request and my appeal, they were actually very helpful in telling me what to do next. The final letter from them amused me because it informed me that the change in banding had been done as result of a "Notice of Alteration", not as a result of my appeal. I then had to inform the Tribunal Office that I was not proceeding with my appeal.

In the end a good result !

Last edited by moonrakerz; 18-01-2007 at 2:08 PM.
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# 15
Old 19-01-2007, 5:53 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1
Talking Adur district council

Local Council: Adur
Band Before: D
Band After: C
Refund: 1150 (approx)

Hi all you moneysavers!

I looked at this article and wasn't sure it would work for me, but gave it a try online. In my street, all were valued in band D except for 2 houses at the end of the street that challenged in 1993 and were reduced to band C.

My online challenge was answered rapidly with the reply that it was an invalid proposal (as I had been in the property more than 6 months). I was advised that I could challenge but must provide further evidence. Downhearted, I thought that I would gather some really good evidence / pictures / plans etc. but put it off for a few weeks because I was busy. The morning I was going to go out and complete the report, I received a letter notifying me of my new council tax band and another telling me I had a large refund.... and how did I want my money!

Don't be shy........ just go for it.

I love this site! Now to shaft the banks!!!

I hope that this helps someone.

Kind Regards
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# 16
Old 19-01-2007, 8:35 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 7

Local Borough Council: Tewkesbury
Council Tax Band Before: E
Council Tax Band After: D
Amount refunded: £128 + wipe off remaining liability for financial year (£300)

We were in the house less than 6 months when we called the local council CT office about the banding (as we thought it was high compared to the locality) and were promptly told there was "nothing we could do about it as it had always been the same band", so I initially gave up. Then I found the CT trail on MSE and approached the VOA - however I had now been in the house > 6months and was rejected on that grounds. I wrote back with evidence of my telco to the local council and with valuation evidence from the Nationwide BS website and they said that this was not good enough proof but that they would send an officer to evaulate the property as long as I did not contest their decision. I wrote back to say that I would contest (just in case, and because others on MSE did this) but in the end they sent a VOA officer and agreed that I was mis-classified. I got a refund of £128 for the previous part-year and had to pay no more for the current year. Result.

I think that this will stand me in good stead even when the revaluation comes in 2007/2008 but we shall see!

Thanks to Martin and MSE subscribers!

Last edited by glostech; 19-01-2007 at 8:44 PM.
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# 17
Old 23-01-2007, 2:12 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 14

Local Council Adur /West Sussex
Council Tax Band before G
Council Tax Band after F
Amount refunded £1500


saw the tip in Martin's weekly email and thought I'd take a look. Neighbours houses on both sides are similar if not larger than hours, and all were band F.
Called the council and explained the situation, and was told that because we had not reported within six months of moving in, we were not entitled to appeal. Pressed the issues saying "i have it on VERY good authority that I am entitled to a revaluation" and was put through to someone else who said, ah yes, you can have a review but not an appeal. Don't you just love the civil service?

Gave our details and got an encouraging initial reception that it looked like we had a case. About six weeks later we got a letter saying the review had been successful, and we had been lowered from G to F, a saving of £300 per annum at current rates.

Chased up the council tax department (as they issue the refunds on the valuers say-so) and shortly afterwards received notice of a refund totalling about £1500 dating back to 2002 (including the cancellation of future payments for this year.)

The previous owner of the property prior to 2002 also got a refund of about £600, although probably hasn't the faintest idea why as the remittance advice came to our address!

Was hoping to be on Martin's TV prog but will watch it with interest - I expect the councils won't know what's hit them after it airs!



PS Martin is my hero!
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# 18
Old 25-01-2007, 12:34 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1
Talking Council Tax Rebanding

Local Council: South Staffordshire
Banding Before: E
Banding After: D

Saw the tip in Martin's weekly email and thought I'd take a look. Neighbours houses are similar if not larger than ours, and all were band D.
Wrote to the council and explained the situation, and was informed that because we had not reported this within six months of moving in, we were not entitled to appeal. Replied to this letter stating that had we know the situation we would have appealed, we pressed the issues saying "We have it on VERY good authority that We are entitled to a revaluation". The next letter we recived was on informing us we were to go to a hearing for re banding in Feb 2007. Two weeks later we recived a letter from South Staffs council stating our property had been rebanded. On contacting the council we were informed we would be reimbursed the difference since we move in to the property in 2002 and a cheque would be posted to us. this has been very greatfully recived... over 1000.

We will be watching with interest on Friday - Many Many thanks to Martin.
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# 19
Old 25-01-2007, 1:48 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Lancashire
Posts: 181

Local Council - South Ribble
Banding before - E
Banding after - D
Amount refunded - not sure because a cheque went to the previous owner - who was thrilled.

Four years ago my family moved into this property. Within six months I queried the banding and an officer was sent to evaluate the property. Shortly afterwards I received a letter saying I was unsucessful but stating I could appeal the decision. I also received notice to attend a Valuation Tribunal to argue my case and was asked to consider withdrawing my appeal. I didn't withdraw my appeal nor attend the tribunal - thinking that I couldn't win. Soon afterwards I received a letter stating the Band was changed to D and the previous owners would be sent the overpayments they had made since 1993.
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# 20
Old 25-01-2007, 4:27 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 2
Default Thank you Martin, it worked for me!

Local Borough Council:South Somerset
Council Tax Band Before:Band F
Council Tax Band After:Band E
Amount refunded:2,570
Secured the lower banding back dated to 1st April 1993, what a result; I can hardly believe it.
I did not expect to be successful as I had originally objected to the allocated banding back in 1993, which was rejected.
This time, my main point was to quote the similar sized houses within and adjacent to my postcode that were in the lower band (I got the details from the voa/gov website) with my next door neighbour in a similar style house being the one a spoke about when I got to chat with the Valuation Officer at County Hall. I had a fallback point that I did not have to use, that the house was significantly devalued by being declared by the D of E as being in a flood plain area. (that of course would apply to next door as well, but I reckoned that it just about qualified as a reason to ask for a review)
When the re-banding was confirmed in writing, the reason was quoted as original banding wrongly allocated by administrative or clerical mistake.
Good luck to all Money Savers...don't forget to try the Flight Checker!!!!
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