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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Archna
    • By MSE Archna 6th Oct 06, 7:00 PM
    • 1,872Posts
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    MSE Archna
    Council Tax Cost Cutting: reduce your band and grab any discounts Discussion Area
    • #1
    • 6th Oct 06, 7:00 PM
    Council Tax Cost Cutting: reduce your band and grab any discounts Discussion Area 6th Oct 06 at 7:00 PM
    This thread is here to discuss the content of the article on Council Tax Cashback: reduce your band and save £1000s.

    However if you have already followed the system, please use report them in the Council tax rebanding successes discussion.

    Note from Martin: Thank you to all the contributers to the initial thread, which provided the genisis for the article. Much appreciated.


    Last edited by MSE Archna; 10-06-2010 at 4:39 PM.
    Report inappropriate posts: forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com




Page 2
  • gb39
    The original article is wrong in saying that there is no legal basis for the "6 months rule". New occupiers can appeal against the banding only within 6 months of moving into occupation of a property. These appeals are to the VOA and a Valuation Tribunal, and the Council is not involved. The Council is involved in discounts/voids/renovations etc.

    However, the way round the 6 month rule is not to appeal - that would just be dismissed as invalid. The technique, if you think the banding is wrong, is to contact the Listing Officer (VOA) and explain why you think the list is wrong annd then remind him/her of their statutory duty to maintain the "quality of the list". If you can convince them it is wrong, then they have a statutory duty to put it right.
  • halloweenqueen
    I never got to appeal as they cut me off in 3 weeks instead of four! They were extrememly fair and pleasant to deal with and told me they were reviewing it anyway but to write in with my reasons, which I did and they phoned me within days to tell me I'd been rebanded and due for a refund.
  • Pere Ubu
    Are we comparing neighbours who live in the same area or in the same street/road. I have found properties in Band B in my area and I'm in band D. The Band B properties are similar to mine i.e. number of bedrooms they are older houses. What impact would this have on Banding? My house was built in 1999. Any help/guidance? Or a direction to an article thanks.
  • thegreybeard
    You need to compare the houses using values at 1st April 1991. That was the Valuation Date for English council tax banding.

    BUT, as I have said, before:

    Just be careful; if the Valuation Officer finds or believes that your band is too low, he can put it up!

    So, do your homework, first.

    If your band is found to be correct, he could reband your neighbour(s). Now that would make you popular in the neighbourhood!
  • yinny
    Yes Yes yes
    I have followed this site for along time but never really done much about what I read.

    A few weeks ago i read the council tax reduction thing and decided to have a go. I saw my neighbour in an identical house was a band lower than me. i wrote off, filled in the forms and got a letter back today that lowered my band from f to e. i will save around £35 per month.

    I checked with my billing authority and found out my refund (backdated to April 1993) will be for over £3000. So dont be put off by the 6 month rule. if you have a valid claim, go for it, I hope you get a suprise like mine!

    Thanks to martin and everyone here we will be taking a holiday on our refund.
  • Pere Ubu
    You need to compare the houses using values at 1st April 1991. That was the Valuation Date for English council tax banding.

    BUT, as I have said, before:

    Just be careful; if the Valuation Officer finds or believes that your band is too low, he can put it up!

    So, do your homework, first.

    If your band is found to be correct, he could reband your neighbour(s). Now that would make you popular in the neighbourhood!
    by thegreybeard
    If your housewas built after 1991 do you use the value of the house when it was built?
  • Maisie
    I have followed this site for along time but never really done much about what I read.

    A few weeks ago i read the council tax reduction thing and decided to have a go. I saw my neighbour in an identical house was a band lower than me. i wrote off, filled in the forms and got a letter back today that lowered my band from f to e. i will save around £35 per month.

    I checked with my billing authority and found out my refund (backdated to April 1993) will be for over £3000. So dont be put off by the 6 month rule. if you have a valid claim, go for it, I hope you get a suprise like mine!

    Thanks to martin and everyone here we will be taking a holiday on our refund.
    by yinny

    Well done Yinny on that terrific refund. Have a fabulous holiday.

    Halloweenqueen Have you got your refund yet?

    Let's have some more success stories on here to show other MSEs what can be done in appealing.

    Maisie ( original poster )
    • CharleneUK
    • By CharleneUK 15th Oct 06, 10:42 PM
    • 3,165 Posts
    • 1,099 Thanks
    CharleneUK
    Just posted this on another thread

    Hmm.. I just checked out my neighbours. We are in a block of 6, and we're all on band B, apart from one, who is on band C. Have no idea why.

    I pay around £103 per month council tax.

    So I think we pay 'less' according to the site.
    Last edited by CharleneUK; 15-10-2006 at 10:45 PM.
    "I did then, what I knew then. And when I knew better, I did better"

    Timberlake Hussy Clique Member No 2
  • gnasher
    If your housewas built after 1991 do you use the value of the house when it was built?
    by Pere Ubu
    No, you will have to make an educated guess as to what your house would have been worth on 1st april 1991 if it had have been built then.
  • gnasher
    Plus, for anyone reading this in Wales the situation is different, as there was a Revaluation done there in 2005, so it is now based on the value of the house on 1st April 2003.

    The same was supposed to happen in England, but as Council Tax bills in Wales on average increased (more than the usual annual increase) they didn't go ahead with it. Well, it was an election year, after all.

    Sir Michael Lyons is supposed to be investigating remedies for this, and an ever-increasing list of things, in his balance of funding enquiry. Due to report probably just in time for the Tories to get in power and ignore his findings, presumably.
    • Essenchill
    • By Essenchill 17th Oct 06, 8:35 PM
    • 1,007 Posts
    • 277 Thanks
    Essenchill
    Help!
    Just got a reply after going on the website and explaining on there the reason I felt we should have a revaluation. The flat I live in is part of a refurb of a house into flats which was carried out over the last two years. Looking on the website, some of the other flats in the building are in band A and we're paying band B. I challenged it saying a) the house has been turned into flats and b) other flats are on a cheaper rate. They have come back saying my claim is invalid as 'You did not make your proposal within the statutory time limits specified in the council tax legislation'. I take this to mean the 'within 6 months of moving in' which Martin mentions in the article. But he says this isn't law and regardless of how long I've lived here there should still be a way of appealing the decision.

    I have to appeal within four weeks. What my next move, what do I argue?
  • carl310166
    Plus, for anyone reading this in Wales the situation is different, as there was a Revaluation done there in 2005, so it is now based on the value of the house on 1st April 2003.

    The same was supposed to happen in England, but as Council Tax bills in Wales on average increased (more than the usual annual increase) they didn't go ahead with it. Well, it was an election year, after all.

    Sir Michael Lyons is supposed to be investigating remedies for this, and an ever-increasing list of things, in his balance of funding enquiry. Due to report probably just in time for the Tories to get in power and ignore his findings, presumably.
    by gnasher
    I live in wales, and as you say, we were rebanded in 2005, which meant we now pay £8 per month less.

    Now, as we are MSE's, i have began to think, should we have had, or could we apply for a retrospective refund?

    I know we were fortunate to have a lower banding, but if i have been overpaying for 9 years, i would like something back.

    Anybody?
    Sponsored by Tesco Clubcard Points !!
  • Scully's Girl
    It worked! Two months ago I first noticed this thread, so checked & realized we were languishing in band F whilst all our neighbors enjoyed Band E. So I appealed and they advised me it would take two months to do anything about it. In true council style they held to their word and didnt finish it early, but on Monday our band was adjusted to an E. I now have to send this new valuation to the council and await our refund, but it will be from 2001 so that should be a big help. My husband just made a huge purchase lately and we can use the cash to replenish the savings account. Im so happy! Ill report back on how much we get when I find out. Will probably take them another 2 months to even look at this.
    Debt & Mortgage free...
  • Maisie
    It worked! Two months ago I first noticed this thread, so checked & realized we were languishing in band F whilst all our neighbors enjoyed Band E. So I appealed and they advised me it would take two months to do anything about it. In true council style they held to their word and didnt finish it early, but on Monday our band was adjusted to an E. I now have to send this new valuation to the council and await our refund, but it will be from 2001 so that should be a big help. My husband just made a huge purchase lately and we can use the cash to replenish the savings account. Im so happy! Ill report back on how much we get when I find out. Will probably take them another 2 months to even look at this.
    by Scully's Girl

    Well done Scully's girl!. Well done on getting a refund and rebanding.

    Halloweenqueen do you have your refund yet?

    Anyone new looking at this thread also look at the closed thread there's lots of good information on there.

    Maisie.. OP
  • gnasher
    Help!
    They have come back saying my claim is invalid as 'You did not make your proposal within the statutory time limits specified in the council tax legislation'. I take this to mean the 'within 6 months of moving in' which Martin mentions in the article. But he says this isn't law and regardless of how long I've lived here there should still be a way of appealing the decision.

    I have to appeal within four weeks. What my next move, what do I argue?
    by Essenchill

    see the post at the top of this page, you could try that approach - i have studied the law and there is a statutory period after which an appeal is invalid, but i am not au fait with what happens in practise, if the above approach is acceptable.

    You cannot appeal to the VO against the decision that the proposal is out of time - but you can appeal to a Valuations Tribunal. Whether you will get a different decision or not i do not know.
    Last edited by gnasher; 18-10-2006 at 1:43 PM.
  • gnasher
    further to the above, the regs say the limit is within 6 months of an interested party becoming a 'new taxpayer', so if the VOA are taking this to the letter the rule, and there are more adults living in the address than actually named on the bill you could ask the council to add them to the bill and then presumably THEY could appeal...

    Obviously everyone present in the address should have been billed orginally, and I suppose to be proper and correct anyone making a proposal should have moved in with you within the last 6 months. This is probably a bit dodgy otherwise so i wouldn't advise it if this is not the case.
    But it makes no difference to your bill if there are more than 2 providing neither are disregarded for any reason.

    Also you don't need to worry about the band being increased unless there has been a 'material transaction' ie a sale, since the property was orginally banded. You could add all kinds of extensions to your house and it won't affect you, only the people you sell it to.

    I'll see if i can find out about getting a refund for in Wales after the revaluation but your council should be able to tell you if you contact them - i would presume the situation is the same as if the original band was found too high on appeal in which case you're entitled to the reduction from the date the dwelling came into the list...
  • jennynoo
    Band Changed
    Hello!

    This is my first post! I wanted to let everyone know my good news. In my building there are 12 flats and I noticed that two were on a lower band than mine (all flats are the same).

    I have been in my flat more than 6 months so when I first filled in the online form I got a letter saying I was too late but that they would look into it anyway. I got another letter later saying I was too late but could appeal if I wanted to. I didn't bother but then just the other day I got a letter saying my band had been changed and they had notified the council. So I'm writing a letter to all my neighbours and waiting to hear if I will get any money back.

    I feel so empowered by the whole thing that even if I don't get money back it's a good feeling
    • Essenchill
    • By Essenchill 18th Oct 06, 4:50 PM
    • 1,007 Posts
    • 277 Thanks
    Essenchill
    Wow, that sounds very lucky jennynoo and I guess I'm in exactly the same situation and so should sit tight, sounds risky but two people now in my situation seem to say the same thing, the council just decided it was fairer to lower it without appeal being made. Keep us posted if you do get a refund! If it comes back that nothing is to change, I may lodge an appeal under fairness as the post on the top of this page recommends so thanks gb39, gnasher and jennynoo!!
  • Pere Ubu
    Help!
    Just got a reply after going on the website and explaining on there the reason I felt we should have a revaluation. The flat I live in is part of a refurb of a house into flats which was carried out over the last two years. Looking on the website, some of the other flats in the building are in band A and we're paying band B. I challenged it saying a) the house has been turned into flats and b) other flats are on a cheaper rate. They have come back saying my claim is invalid as 'You did not make your proposal within the statutory time limits specified in the council tax legislation'. I take this to mean the 'within 6 months of moving in' which Martin mentions in the article. But he says this isn't law and regardless of how long I've lived here there should still be a way of appealing the decision.

    I have to appeal within four weeks. What my next move, what do I argue?
    by Essenchill
    I thought that if you were out of the time limit (6 months) you could get round this by saying they have a duty to keep the list up to date?
  • Maisie
    Hello!

    This is my first post! I wanted to let everyone know my good news. In my building there are 12 flats and I noticed that two were on a lower band than mine (all flats are the same).

    I have been in my flat more than 6 months so when I first filled in the online form I got a letter saying I was too late but that they would look into it anyway. I got another letter later saying I was too late but could appeal if I wanted to. I didn't bother but then just the other day I got a letter saying my band had been changed and they had notified the council. So I'm writing a letter to all my neighbours and waiting to hear if I will get any money back.

    I feel so empowered by the whole thing that even if I don't get money back it's a good feeling
    by jennynoo

    Well done jennynoo. Hope you get a massive refund.

    Pass the word on to check banding. www.voa.gov.uk


    Maisie..... O poster
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