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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 250
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 3rd Jun 17, 2:20 PM
    • 9,734 Posts
    • 7,759 Thanks
    lincroft1710
    I bought my house in 1991 when it was broadly the same as all my nearest neighbours. Since then all my neighbours houses have been extended (extra floors over garages. Loft conversions etc)/ According to the online register we are all in the same Council tax band.
    My question is when does rebranding take place in the case of extensions? Also Could we challenge our band in the light ot all the changes ?
    Originally posted by Fireclown
    As you bought your home in 1991, you should instantly know if the CT band is correct from the price you paid. Extensions will not always lead to a CT band increase, but a band can only be increased on account of an extension where the extension was carried out by a previous owner. So until a house is sold its band cannot be increased.

    Just because neighbours now have larger houses than yours is not grounds for a CT band reduction.
    • feltonam
    • By feltonam 5th Jun 17, 8:10 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    feltonam
    Local Borough Council: West Lancashire
    Council Tax Band Before: E
    Council Tax Band After: D

    Only lived here for less than a year so didn't get much back but saving around £50 a month on payments. Very happy I just collected details of similar properties in the area in band D and also sent details of the house size and floor space plus it's known sale history going back 10 years. It took about 3 months to get a reply but well worth the wait.
    • janeyandpaul
    • By janeyandpaul 9th Jun 17, 1:30 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    janeyandpaul
    Nuneaton
    Band reduction from C to B
    Refund £3141.00
    Currently a saving of approx £180 per year.

    Our banding has been back dated to 1993!
    Massive thanks to the MSE web site, I'm now sharing my success with friends & family of the potential saving they can make.
    Glad I done my homework first as I was questioned by the Valuation Office as to why I think I'm entitled to a reduction.
    Chuffed to bits ��
    • fatboyonadiet
    • By fatboyonadiet 10th Jun 17, 2:55 PM
    • 5,299 Posts
    • 2,248 Thanks
    fatboyonadiet
    Is there anyway to find out how much my property originally sold for? (Around 1998)
    2p off is still 2p off!
    • Dollar Park
    • By Dollar Park 5th Jul 17, 9:26 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Dollar Park
    Success in Scotland?
    I wonder how successful Martin's advice has been in Scotland. For me, it hasn't. I live in a street of very similar houses (with very similar values at the year in question) but I'm one band higher. In Scotland, request for a re-assessment can only be made under two conditions - roughly within a set period after purchase or within a set time after the purchase of a neighbouring property (by a new owner). Being emboldened by Martin's advice that a certain 'elasticity' was being encouraged, I asked politely and was knocked back at once with the 'legitimation' rationale - i.e. it was not a legitimate request because it was not made under either of the two conditions. Of course, I could appeal and the appeal would go to a board hearing BUT (and here's the crux) although I could attend I could observe only and no additional evidence could be presented.
    Hmm! Elasticity? Flexibility? I don't think so. At the time the new series of 'Fargo' had just started on C4 with a scene - set in some Eastern European dictatorship where sad, sweating little guy is hauled in front of uniformed, bureaucratic big guy. "You are Viktor Slabo (or some such name)?" says big guy. Little guy is relieved: being Viktor Slabo obviously means a trip to the labour camp, but he isn't him! "Ah," he says, "No, he used to live in my house. I am not him." "So you are saying the State is wrong?" says big guy. Little guy knows this means a trip to the labour camp!."No, no, of course the State isn't wrong," he stammers. "So you are Viktor Slabo?" says big guy.
    Any resemblance to this, of course, fictional scenario and the case of requesting a re-assessment from the office of the Assessor and Electoral Registration for Central Scotland is entirely accidental. Of course.
    • CIS
    • By CIS 5th Jul 17, 9:41 AM
    • 10,027 Posts
    • 5,720 Thanks
    CIS
    The 'flexibility' arises from the fact that the VOA have a legal duty to maintain the correct council tax list so to comply with that they need to look at possible errors which need corrected.

    The Scottish system originates from the same basic legislation and has (assuming it's not later been tweaked) a similar provision under regulation 4(1)(b) - http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1993/355/regulation/4/made#text%3D%22council%20tax%22%20and%20%22valuati on%22

    Craig
    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery as I'm now a self employed Council Tax advisor and consultant with my own Council Tax consultancy business. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
    • MeganLloyd
    • By MeganLloyd 5th Jul 17, 11:55 AM
    • 2 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    MeganLloyd
    tried and failed - so far
    I live in Wales so properties were "revalued" in 2005. However, when I recently tried to challenge the banding on a Victorian stone 3-bed house which was worth considerably less than all the other band E properties in the area my application was rejected. I was not allowed to "backdate" the current valuation (recent purchase price £135,000) and the property has too large a footprint to be in a lower band. This was the first I'd heard that size matters where valuation is concerned.The Valuation Officer visited the house and as good as told me that all the cards were stacked in his favour. Haven't decided yet whether this will be worth pursuing...
    • anotherday1
    • By anotherday1 6th Aug 17, 1:45 PM
    • 27 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    anotherday1
    Successfully lowered my banding (new review is threatening tor increase)
    I successfully challenged my council tax banding and my banding was lowered from D to C in October 2016. Unfortunately I have just received a letter from the Valuation Office saying that they will be reviewing my banding because they think my banding may need to be increased. This is really disturbing since they effectively did a review a review in October 2016 and just under a year later they are doing another review suggesting my banding might need to increase. The letter is written in such a way to suggest they have already decided what the outcome of the review will be. A genuine review has 3 possible outcomes (keep the same, lower or increase). The letter only discusses outcome 3 being "increased". Can someone answer the following:

    1) can the VOA go back on what my previous review had agreed, ie, reverse the agreed lowering in October 2016? My property has not changed in the last year since the previous review!
    2) Can i make a freedom of information request to get hold of the actual sold prices in my postcode back in 1991? I can only find sold prices back to 1996. Maybe I can get the actual sold prices from 1990 to 1996 elsewhere?
    3) If they increase my banding, will I have to pay back my previous refund and back date what they would claim is an under payment of council tax? This will cause me financial hardship! I will definitely go to tribunal if they increase my banding, since I should definitely be in band C and not D.

    I am really angry, since I feel I am being messed about by valuation office! I know the outcome of the review could be "no change", but I do not think so given the wording of the letter!

    Thanks!
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 6th Aug 17, 1:58 PM
    • 9,734 Posts
    • 7,759 Thanks
    lincroft1710
    1) Yes. If the VOA are considering increasing the band less than a year after reducing, there must be a very good reason.

    2) No. Even if you could, the VOA don't hold 1991 prices on a postcode basis.

    3) No. Any increase of the amount payable can only take effect from the date you were notified of the increased band.
    • anotherday1
    • By anotherday1 6th Aug 17, 2:26 PM
    • 27 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    anotherday1
    1) Yes. If the VOA are considering increasing the band less than a year after reducing, there must be a very good reason.
    Originally posted by lincroft1710
    The only "very good reason" would surely be incompetence back in October 2016? I gave my reasons for the lowering and the reviewer in VOA agreed that an error was made back in 1991.

    Could I be stuck in this cycle permanently?

    Lower my band-->review a year later resulting in an increase-->go to tribunal and they lower it-->a year later they do a review and they increase again-->etc.

    At the end of day, I feel I should have the security of knowing what band I am in; without the fear of the government changing their mind!
    Last edited by anotherday1; 06-08-2017 at 2:31 PM.
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 6th Aug 17, 5:25 PM
    • 9,734 Posts
    • 7,759 Thanks
    lincroft1710
    The only "very good reason" would surely be incompetence back in October 2016? I gave my reasons for the lowering and the reviewer in VOA agreed that an error was made back in 1991.

    Could I be stuck in this cycle permanently?

    Lower my band-->review a year later resulting in an increase-->go to tribunal and they lower it-->a year later they do a review and they increase again-->etc.

    At the end of day, I feel I should have the security of knowing what band I am in; without the fear of the government changing their mind!
    Originally posted by anotherday1
    The VOA can alter a CT band at any time if they believe it is incorrect.

    It is quite possible that the person who reviewed the band last year either did not know the area and the "tone" or did not research the evidence. Now a more experienced person has realised that some bands may have been reduced in error and is investigating the matter which is the correct thing to do.

    Or there could have been a recent Valuation Tribunal decision which casts doubt on the validity of the reduction.

    Or new evidence has come to light. Because of the method of recording pre 1992/3 sales evidence it was very easy for mistakes to be made in assigning the town/village the property was situated in.

    I have known bands be changed twice, but in the 12 yrs I dealt with CT at the VOA, I never encountered a band being changed 3 times.

    I would suggest you contact them and simply ask why they believe the band needs to change again.
    • anotherday1
    • By anotherday1 6th Aug 17, 9:35 PM
    • 27 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    anotherday1
    The VOA can alter a CT band at any time if they believe it is incorrect.

    It is quite possible that the person who reviewed the band last year either did not know the area and the "tone" or did not research the evidence. Now a more experienced person has realised that some bands may have been reduced in error and is investigating the matter which is the correct thing to do.

    Or there could have been a recent Valuation Tribunal decision which casts doubt on the validity of the reduction.

    Or new evidence has come to light. Because of the method of recording pre 1992/3 sales evidence it was very easy for mistakes to be made in assigning the town/village the property was situated in.

    I have known bands be changed twice, but in the 12 yrs I dealt with CT at the VOA, I never encountered a band being changed 3 times.

    I would suggest you contact them and simply ask why they believe the band needs to change again.
    Originally posted by lincroft1710
    Do I have a legal right to know what they are basing their decision on?

    I can't get pre-1996 sold prices. My argument is that if they have sold prices in 1991 indicating band D, then this could be due to the cost of a garage in a garage block at the end of the road or a garage attached to the property. Out of the 14 properties in my street, only 3 have garages attached to the properties on the house plot. Of the remaining get 11 properties, some of them included a garage in the garage block down the road. The cost of a garage in the block should be ignored for CT purposes, since the garage isn't physically part of the property and they could be bought or sold separately. I argued this and this was agreed a year ago in my case, since I do not have a garage on my plot or in the garage block down the road. I think some bright spark has suddenly found sold prices indicating band D in 1991. But they are not aware of the garage issue. I live in a city with limited parking and these garages are worth more than £28K now. This is more than 10% of the price of a property without a garage. A garage physically part of the would be worth considerably more than £28K. These houses are probably worth more than 20% more than mine.

    Do I have a legal right to know what they are basing their new decision on?

    I will naturally phone the person doing the review!
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 7th Aug 17, 3:15 PM
    • 9,734 Posts
    • 7,759 Thanks
    lincroft1710
    Do I have a legal right to know what they are basing their decision on?

    I can't get pre-1996 sold prices. My argument is that if they have sold prices in 1991 indicating band D, then this could be due to the cost of a garage in a garage block at the end of the road or a garage attached to the property. Out of the 14 properties in my street, only 3 have garages attached to the properties on the house plot. Of the remaining get 11 properties, some of them included a garage in the garage block down the road. The cost of a garage in the block should be ignored for CT purposes, since the garage isn't physically part of the property and they could be bought or sold separately. I argued this and this was agreed a year ago in my case, since I do not have a garage on my plot or in the garage block down the road. I think some bright spark has suddenly found sold prices indicating band D in 1991. But they are not aware of the garage issue. I live in a city with limited parking and these garages are worth more than £28K now. This is more than 10% of the price of a property without a garage. A garage physically part of the would be worth considerably more than £28K. These houses are probably worth more than 20% more than mine.

    Do I have a legal right to know what they are basing their new decision on?

    I will naturally phone the person doing the review!
    Originally posted by anotherday1
    As far as I am aware there is no provision in CT legislation conferring any rights in law for a council taxpayer to be informed of the reasoning behind a decision. However explaining the reason(s) for the decision would be prudent and customer friendly.

    Your theory about the garages may be correct, it sounds very plausible. It is one I have encountered, but in opposite circumstances to yours, where I would and did not reduce the band of an end terrace house with attached garage to the same band as those ascribed to inner terrace houses with unconnected garages in a block.
    • ianianian
    • By ianianian 16th Sep 17, 8:32 PM
    • 226 Posts
    • 49 Thanks
    ianianian
    Hi guys,

    Don't like posting these questions as i'm sure they'll have been asked in the 1000000 previous posts, but i've read half of them and can't find the answers...
    1. On http://cti.voa.gov.uk/ where you can check the banding of your with a lower band has the 'improvement indicator' column ticked - does this mean they've challenged their banding and had it reduced?
    2. If correct, as we've all got similar houses, i'm assuming we should all be challenging?
    3. Our house is worth twice as much as it was in 1991* - assuming i'm not going to get put up three bands if i challenge and fail?

    * I'm not bragging there - i'm still poor!

    Thanks!
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 17th Sep 17, 2:51 PM
    • 9,734 Posts
    • 7,759 Thanks
    lincroft1710
    Improvement indicator means that alterations to the dwelling carried out by a previous owner, so when next sold CT band will need to be reviewed. Bands are still based on 1991 values
    Last edited by lincroft1710; 17-09-2017 at 2:55 PM.
    • ianianian
    • By ianianian 19th Sep 17, 8:35 AM
    • 226 Posts
    • 49 Thanks
    ianianian
    I contacted the VOA and got a swift and blunt response ignoring information I'd provided using the calculators on mse to calculate the 1991 price and stating that I've provided them of no evidence of actual sale prices around 1991. Back to the drawing board!
    • princess23
    • By princess23 10th Oct 17, 1:07 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    princess23
    Help Please
    Can anyone help please im trying to see if we are on the correct band. Our house is a new build purchased in 2001, how would i find out the correct purchase price for how our band was worked out. There are several houses on our estate very similar to ours but vary in tax bands. I have written to the VOA and found out our house size in m2 but have no way of finding out other house information due to the privacy act i was informed. I was informed there was one other property wtihin a two mile radius like ours on a lower band than us. But unfortunately this is the only information they would give me. Can anyone assist in pointing me in the right direction . Thank you in advance.
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 10th Oct 17, 2:36 PM
    • 9,734 Posts
    • 7,759 Thanks
    lincroft1710
    princess - where houses are built after April 1991, the VOA will usually try to compare them with houses of a similar type and size built before that date where there is relevant sales information. If you can get a copy of the developer's brochure for the estate, it would be possible to calculate the sizes of the other houses.
    • princess23
    • By princess23 10th Oct 17, 4:20 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    princess23
    Thank you but is there anyway of getting a copy of this from so long ago? Sorry for sounding so stupid but I have no idea where to start.
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 10th Oct 17, 8:07 PM
    • 9,734 Posts
    • 7,759 Thanks
    lincroft1710
    Perhaps one of your neighbours still has one, the developers may still have one.
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