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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Archna
    • By MSE Archna 10th Jan 07, 12:02 PM
    • 1,872Posts
    • 5,996Thanks
    MSE Archna
    Council Tax Rebanding SUCCESS stories
    • #1
    • 10th Jan 07, 12:02 PM
    Council Tax Rebanding SUCCESS stories 10th Jan 07 at 12:02 PM
    MSE Insert!

    Forumite lanerideruk successfully reclaimed 19 years' worth of council tax - £2,400! Join and let us know what you've reclaimed too.

    Read how to do it yourself:





    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; 24-08-2015 at 1:15 PM.
    Report inappropriate posts: forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com




Page 87
    • ReginaldP
    • By ReginaldP 16th Oct 16, 11:50 AM
    • 2 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    ReginaldP
    Tribunal Success
    Local Borough Council: Hillingdon
    Council Tax Band Before: F
    Council Tax Band After: E
    Amount refunded: £300 (approx.)
    Annual saving going forward: £300 (approx.)

    Martin & team, thank you for your very useful and comprehensive guide on challenging Council Tax bands.
    I downsized last December from a large 3 bed detached house to a small 2 bed bungalow just around the corner (and am now mortgage free!). I was surprised when I received my council tax bill - I was still a band F. A check on your guide soon showed me the right websites to get the information on local council tax bands of neighbours. I checked on several local similar houses and found that they were a mixture of Band E & F. It seems that 11 people in the area challenged their bands and were reduced to band E, but others haven't challenged. I applied to the VOA straight away for a reduction but was refused. The main reason appeared to be that my house sold in 1993 for £121k - just above the band F threshold, and the listing officer relied on the difficult state of the housing market and believed prices were falling at the time and would have been higher in 1991. As your guide states, this next step is a bit more tricky. I did have to do a lot of research, but some of the similar houses had sold for less than £120k but generally there was a serious lack of housing price data. Local knowledge told me that the lack of price data was because not many houses are sold (obvious when you think about it!). People like the area and stay here for a long time - that creates a demand. This was supported by the other local bungalows which had sold for over £120k after 1991. I decided to challenge the VOA decision and went to a Valuation Tribunal. It did take quite a bit of work and nearly 6 months but I felt it was a fair process and they found in my favour in the end.
    So, many nearby households are in band F - only because they have not challenged their banding. Nobody will do it for them... get checking now!
    I'm now due a refund of around £300 and will save just as much every year - on top of all the other savings you've made me. Thanks again!
    • thxultra73
    • By thxultra73 18th Oct 16, 8:24 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    thxultra73
    Some advice please guys, 87 pages is too much to read I'm afraid. Ok I'm convinced I'm in the wrong council tax band. I'm currently in D but I believe I should be in C. I've done the neighbours check and all my neighbours are in D too. The problem is all these sites that do valuations comftably put me in C. I spoke to the valuation office today and they were very unhelpful. I explained my problem and they said my only hope was to find a similar property within 2 miles that's in a different band. I knew that I wouldn't so I asked what if I couldn't ? And what if everyone's else's bands were wrong ? The woman gave me no answer. When I mentioned these various valuation sites she dismissed them saying these don't count as evidence. What do I do now ?
    • Moneyineptitude
    • By Moneyineptitude 18th Oct 16, 8:48 PM
    • 18,334 Posts
    • 8,572 Thanks
    Moneyineptitude
    Some advice please guys, 87 pages is too much to read I'm afraid.
    Originally posted by thxultra73
    No need to read this massive thread.
    Read here;
    http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/reclaim/council-tax-bands-change?_ga=1.237814146.340047350.1365283676
    • MonkeyBiscuit
    • By MonkeyBiscuit 28th Oct 16, 5:30 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    MonkeyBiscuit
    West Berkshire success
    Local Borough Council: West Berkshire
    Council Tax Band Before: F
    Council Tax Band After: E
    Amount refunded: £863
    Annual saving going forward:£360

    The way West Berkshire worked out the refund was to add up all the refunds due for the last 4 years + my current year payments and deduct this from the new band annual amount due. i.e. they refunded me enough to bring my 16/17 council tax due to zero and refunded me the credit balance. so along with the refund above I also don't need to pay any further payments until the 17/18 installments begin.
    • SmashMouth
    • By SmashMouth 2nd Dec 16, 8:17 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 20 Thanks
    SmashMouth
    Local Borough Council: Rochford
    Council Tax Band Before: E
    Council Tax Band After: D
    Amount refunded: £4,443.90
    Annual saving going forward: £390

    I've always known that my house was wrongly banded, but the "should I risk it" formula always said no; mainly because there are no comparable houses in my area. It's quite unusual, as it's a small 4-bed detached, but there are no others within 2 miles!

    However, I bit the bullet and e-mailed the VOA a few months ago, pleading my case about the perceived value of my house in 1991 but there being nothing similar around. No surprise then that they wrote to me saying I hadn't presented enough evidence to allow them to re-evaluate.

    So, I asked an associate of a work colleague, who happens to own an estate agent, to dig around for similar properties. Lo and behold, he found 4 properties, all larger than mine, detached, garages, but just over 2 miles.

    I represented my case with these houses, saying they are as close as any around me, 2 were band D and 2 were band C. And YES! They wrote back saying they'd reevaluate my house!! 2 months later and I get a call from a chap at the VOA, saying he's on the case and asked a few details. How many rooms, etc.

    I happened to check my band online 2 days ago and saw it had changed to a D and today got a letter from the council telling me it's been reduced and that I'll be getting a £4.4k refund with 2 weeks.

    Happy is an understatement 🤗🤗
    • badmark
    • By badmark 7th Dec 16, 11:29 AM
    • 55 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    badmark
    Beware of backdated council tax
    I have two properties in the same house one empty (long story) was band B, mine was band A I applied for a rebanding of the empty flat as it was down as a two bedroom. RESULT ... they rebanded empty flat to an A... and mine to a B....and backdated my increase for 6 years !!! they gave the reason for the fact that they got the 52a and 52b flat numbers the wrong way round.
    Just a word of warning to all you MSEs
    • Tripletrouble123
    • By Tripletrouble123 18th Dec 16, 11:55 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Tripletrouble123
    Council : Bexley
    Old Band: G
    New Band: F
    Back dated to : January 1993
    Saving: £4,660
    Cost saving going forward : c£300 p.a


    Thanks to Martin and his team I followed every instruction on the website - yes I was refused at first but took two letters (attached MPs letter on the website) and WON - just before Christmas.

    I was the only Band G in my postcode and the helpful revaluation calculator also put me in Band F - I have lived in the same property for 23 years.

    I have never been satisfied that my Band was correct and caught Martin on TV mentioning there was a way to check - very easy, 2 letters and less than 3 months later the council paid into my account £4,660 WOW!!!
    • Footprint1975
    • By Footprint1975 12th Jan 17, 11:17 AM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Footprint1975
    Many thanks to MSE for prompting me to examine my CT Banding, and to make a claim!


    County Council: Ynys Mon (Anglesey)
    Tax band (since the house was bought in 2001 - for £29,000) : C
    Tax band after claim: B
    Amount of refund - ~£450 (Limited to a six-year refund period)
    Amount saved per annum 75% (single occupancy) of the annual reduction of £152.
    The basis of the claim was that the property's market value at the time of council tax valuation (April 2003) was extremely unlikely to have been over the Band A threshold of £44,000; and could not possibly have exceeded the Band B upper limit of £65,000.
    This was obviously a "second gear valuation"; which actually valued the identical house next door at Band B, along with most other similar sized or larger properties in the street.
    In light of the fact that this was such a glaring example of a failure to carry out the valuation properly, I feel aggrieved that a six year limitation has been applied? Has anyone any experience of challenging such?
    • a2f411d38bf0
    • By a2f411d38bf0 19th Jan 17, 6:30 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    a2f411d38bf0
    Success! B->A backdated 4 years
    Local Borough Council: Gateshead
    Council Tax Band Before: B
    Council Tax Band After: A
    Amount refunded: £655
    Annual saving going forward: £142

    The change from band B to Band A was backdated to April 2013. The email I sent to the local valuation office was drafted after reading the guidance on Money Saving Expert.

    In case it is of use to others, my email said:

    Madam/Sir

    I believe that the banding for my home may be wrong. The property is:

    xxxxxxx
    xxxxxxx
    xxxxxxx

    Reference xxxxxxxxx

    It is currently listed as Band B. My belief that the band is incorrect is due to:
    * It is a studio apartment with no separate kitchen, lounge or bedroom
    * Nos xxx and xxx in the same block are already Band A

    The property is worth less than £90,000 now (based on Zoopla estimates), and thus I believe it would have been well below £40,000 in 1991 (based on historical Nationwide house price data). I think it should be band A.

    I moved into the new-build property in April 2013. Then, the bands were not all available on your website. Furthermore, I believe there is a duty to ensure all bands are correct and therefore am I writing to you with this information.

    Please could you check my band?

    Your letter in May 2013 (reference xxxxxxxx) mentioned a deadline of six months for making an appeal, but did not say that I could simply ask you to check my band, which I found out this week from:

    Reference (link to URL on gov.uk website referenced in MSE)

    Regards
    I received a letter confirming receipt of my request within a week, and notification of the band alteration 6 weeks afterwards. There was no visit to my property that I was aware of.
    • Sinbad
    • By Sinbad 31st Jan 17, 9:35 PM
    • 81 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Sinbad
    I moved into my current property in September last year – a two bedroom chalet bungalow which is in a Band E.
    There are 30 properties in the road with most being E but one or two are F.
    To the best of my knowledge, we are the only two bedroom house in the road; the others are either three of four bed. This is based on walking along the street and Zoopla / Rightmove analysis.

    I have gone through the process of challenging the banding and my challenge has been rejected.

    The reasons I gave for requesting the reassessment were:
    - We believed we are the only two bed in the road therefore smaller than everyone else.
    - We purchased our home for 300,000 in September 2016. Using Nationwide’s House Price Calculator, it suggests that our place would have been worth 80,571 in 1991
    - “Council tax bands at 1991 property value” state that 80,571 would have fallen into Band D

    The reasons given for rejection were as follows:
    In their opinion, the value of our property in April 1991 would “reasonably have been between 88k & 120K” which is reason for it remaining in Band E

    They go on to say the following “sales evidence” helped them come up with their decision:


    Approx. sale price - 98,000
    Month / Year of sale - Sept 1992
    Basic Property Details - 3 bed, 2 bath detached

    Approx. sale price - 92,000
    Month / Year of sale - May 1993
    Basic Property Details - 3 bed, 1 bath detached

    Approx. sale price - 78,000
    Month / Year of sale - Jul 1994
    Basic Property Details - 2 bed, 1 bath detached

    Approx. sale price - 90,000
    Month / Year of sale - April 1997
    Basic Property Details - 3 bed, 2 bath detached

    The above data has a caveat: Current legalisation precludes supplying comprehensive details of the sales) e.g. full address.

    I have looked again at Zoopla and Rightmove and their data does not go back far enough for the above dates. I have come across Land Registry Open Data at http://landregistry.data.gov.uk/ and have managed to find the 1997 house there but nothing earlier. It look as though the data is limited to 20 years.

    My question is: how can I find out the sale prices for the other properties, so that I can identify the 2 bed house above? I can then assess whether their findings are correct.

    Many thanks.
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 1st Feb 17, 2:33 PM
    • 9,068 Posts
    • 6,899 Thanks
    lincroft1710
    Sinbad - HPIs are inaccurate and too generalised. In my area by 1994 house prices were 20% or more below those of 1991 so £78K in mid 1994 would show around £97,500 as at Apr 1991. Also a 2 bed house won't always be smaller in size than a 3 bed. I had a 4 bed house which was smaller than my previous 3 bed
    • ddks
    • By ddks 12th Feb 17, 8:35 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    ddks
    Hi Sinbad,

    Have a look at Valuation Tribunal Service website, select 'Decisions & Lists' select the link. Then select 'Valuation Decisions'

    Do a postcode search, just using the first part only -select 'find property' Look for similar cases & look at which properties they used to win these appeals. If they have named streets, look into whether they were sold from 'NEW' or infill plots.

    New builds attract a premium that cannot be realised on the second hand market. Infill plots are treated differently to 'estate developments'

    Check Planning and BuildingControl applications, look for any clues of when they were built...were there any extensions to the properties, that would have reflected in the price.

    Do the properties sit on corner plot or a large plot, this would reflect on the sale price.

    It's a starting point.

    Good Luck
    • snoopyscoot
    • By snoopyscoot 15th Feb 17, 7:47 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    snoopyscoot
    Council Tax refund success!
    I too was successful in receiving 16 years rebate. Council was Eden District Council, Penrith, Cumbria. Council Tax Band E rebanded to Band D. I received approx £4,500 - very happy!
    • Simonsaver
    • By Simonsaver 23rd Feb 17, 9:51 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Simonsaver
    Success!
    We moved into a house two years ago. I questioned the council tax rate with the VOA after reading the MSE article and extrapolating the value of our house back in 1993 from our sale price paid. Even though all our neighbours within a long way were the same band or higher our value was much lower than the banding then, based on our recent purchase price deflated back to 1993 if you see what I mean. I couldn't see our 1992/3 rateable value online since the house had not changed hands since before then. Even though MSE site suggested not to approach VOA based on the fact all our neighbours were the same or higher. We only have 2.5 bedrooms and all other houses around had 4 or more I went for it. SUCCESS - saving £300+ per year. My big question is does the prior owner have a claim if they were over paying from purchase before 1992? Do they have a claim on the council from my re-valuation? I can't read anywhere (despite google) if they do have a claim on the council for what would amount to a considerable refund. Is there a property lawyer out there who might comment on this please? I know how to contact the prior owner and I would not want to get there hopes up in anyway, however if they did have a genuine claim for a refund in a professionals opinion I feel I would be obliged to let them know of the opportunity. Has anyone else experienced this situation and what would the legal view be? I can't hope but feel there must be a precedent on this out there. Thanks in advance if someone can help, especially if from direct experience or knowledge of the law's position on this.
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 24th Feb 17, 2:22 PM
    • 9,068 Posts
    • 6,899 Thanks
    lincroft1710
    Council Tax started on 1 April 1993.

    If a CT band is reduced then any previous occupier who has overpaid is entitled to be refunded. Be aware that some councils have tried to restrict refunds to the past 6 years only.
    • Beckijane
    • By Beckijane 7th Mar 17, 3:40 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Beckijane
    Going through the Motions!!
    Hello,

    I am in the process of challenging my council tax, My neighbor to my right is a band B i am a Band C. in 1993 the houses were identical (neighbour has made renovations since), both 3 bed semi detached (his now a 4 bed semi with conservatory). I have had my 1st challenge rejected then my appeal rejected so i called my local valuations office and spoke to a the lady that rejected my appeal and arranged for her to visit my property. she was with me for 5 minutes took a picture of my kitchen and bathroom then told me that's it and the appeals team will be in touch with a decision! I now feel i am being fobbed off and in need of help as i very strongly believe my property is a Band B as mine and the other property are a mirrored version of each other and the valuations office are basing the appeal on my kitchen and bathroom which of course has been changed! any advice welcome with any steps i need to take or info i need to know.

    Thanks
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 7th Mar 17, 7:51 PM
    • 9,068 Posts
    • 6,899 Thanks
    lincroft1710
    any advice welcome with any steps i need to take or info i need to know.

    Thanks
    Originally posted by Beckijane
    When did you move into the property, because from what you have posted it reads as if you were out of time to make a valid appeal. Worst case scenario is that they could increase your neighbour's CT band
    • Mon£yMatt£rs
    • By Mon£yMatt£rs 6th Apr 17, 7:01 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Mon£yMatt£rs
    Thank You!
    Local Borough Council: Rother District
    Council Tax Band Before: F
    Council Tax Band After: E
    Amount refunded: £4008+
    Annual saving going forward: £293

    Followed Martin's instructions on the website, discovered other properties in same road were of a lower band, valuation of properties using Nationwide House Price Calculator also suggested lower band. Moved in to the property in 2004. Completed required forms. Received an email stating banding was correct and no change will be made. Next morning, received a second email stating first email was incorrect and now satisfied banding should be Band E not Band F and local council will be notified. Waited few weeks and have today received confirmation of refund.

    Happy days! Thank you to Martin and the Team!
    • Jellybeanio
    • By Jellybeanio 8th Apr 17, 11:52 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Jellybeanio
    Hello,

    I asked for a review of my council tax quite a few years ago due to the fact that 2 properties identical to my house which are just a few doors away from me were in a band lower. When I say identical, theirs are actually also larger plots. I was told that the 2 properties in the lower band were mistakes that would be rectified.

    These properties are still today in a band lower than me. Do you have any experience of this scenario please? Would it be worth raising again?

    Many thanks for any advice.
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 9th Apr 17, 3:03 PM
    • 9,068 Posts
    • 6,899 Thanks
    lincroft1710
    Hello,

    I asked for a review of my council tax quite a few years ago due to the fact that 2 properties identical to my house which are just a few doors away from me were in a band lower. When I say identical, theirs are actually also larger plots. I was told that the 2 properties in the lower band were mistakes that would be rectified.

    These properties are still today in a band lower than me. Do you have any experience of this scenario please? Would it be worth raising again?

    Many thanks for any advice.
    Originally posted by Jellybeanio
    By raising it again, the bands of the other 2 houses would probably be increased this time.
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