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    • espritlibre87
    • By espritlibre87 17th May 17, 10:26 PM
    • 19Posts
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    espritlibre87
    Council tax challenge rejected - worth appealing?
    • #1
    • 17th May 17, 10:26 PM
    Council tax challenge rejected - worth appealing? 17th May 17 at 10:26 PM
    Apologies in advance for lengthy post, thought it best to provide all the info to save questions!

    I recently submitted a challenge to our Council Tax band, after moving into a new property (full market value £370,000) that was placed in Band E. I provided the following information as evidence:

    1) Based on Nationwide's house price index, a property valued at £370,000 in 2017 Q1 would have been valued at roughly £87,000 in 1991 - Band D.

    2) Other properties within the building with a higher value than ours are in Band E. These include penthouses with large terraces, and flats with a greater number of bedrooms. For example:
    - Apartment 31, £449,450
    - Apartment 32, £437,775
    - Apartment 36, £446,000
    - Apartment 40, £516,000
    - Apartment 42, £575,000

    3) Current house prices in the nearby area:
    - 2 bed flat in xxOMITTEDxx, valued at £380-400,000, council tax band D
    - 2 bed flat in xxOMITTEDxx, valued at £380,000 - council tax band D

    I received a response stating that our council tax band was felt to be correct, on the following basis:

    - other properties within the area (2 bedroom flats with lift, similar size or smaller than ours) are also band E
    - sales evidence of properties nearby in the early 1990s (I note they did not provide current market values of these properties today)
    - in response to my points about properties more expensive than ours being in a lower council tax band, they stated that one is on the main thoroughfare and another is outside of the 'complex' that we live in and of an older 'style' - they claimed this "would indicate the reason for the lower sale prices [even though they're actually MORE expensive than my flat!] and bandings"

    I would like to know whether it's worth appealing this decision? I am not happy at all with paying the same amount of council tax as a penthouse several floors above me with triple aspect views and a large terrace. Equally, I don't see why the age/style of nearby properties should affect their council tax band, as surely this should only be based on their 1991 value. If they are now worth £10-30k more than my flat, but have been placed in Band D, surely there is no argument for mine being in a higher band??

    Would really appreciate any comments/advice. Many thanks
Page 1
    • ProDave
    • By ProDave 18th May 17, 10:27 AM
    • 178 Posts
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    ProDave
    • #2
    • 18th May 17, 10:27 AM
    • #2
    • 18th May 17, 10:27 AM
    Yes definitely go for appeal. I did that on completion of our last new house. The council surveyor did not agrree so I said fine, let's go to an appeal hearing.

    the day before the hearing the council surveyor phoned and offered to drop it a band, which I accepted.
    • ellie27
    • By ellie27 18th May 17, 10:44 AM
    • 1,064 Posts
    • 719 Thanks
    ellie27
    • #3
    • 18th May 17, 10:44 AM
    • #3
    • 18th May 17, 10:44 AM
    £370 - band E??????

    Round here, pretty much anything over £300k is band G!

    That aside, as I believe it depends on which region you are in...... with the evidence you have I would appeal. You need to find a similar house to yours with lower band.

    Good luck.
    I won my challenge on my last house, still waiting decision on my new house (been in it almost 2 years and I am still waiting to here)
    Last edited by ellie27; 18-05-2017 at 10:47 AM. Reason: .
    • CIS
    • By CIS 18th May 17, 10:54 AM
    • 9,870 Posts
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    CIS
    • #4
    • 18th May 17, 10:54 AM
    • #4
    • 18th May 17, 10:54 AM
    Yes definitely go for appeal. I did that on completion of our last new house. The council surveyor did not agrree so I said fine, let's go to an appeal hearing.

    the day before the hearing the council surveyor phoned and offered to drop it a band, which I accepted.
    Originally posted by ProDave
    It wouldn't be the council surveyor for council tax banding - the banding decisions are made by the Valuation Office (E & W) or the Scottish Assessors Office.

    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.
    • IAmWales
    • By IAmWales 18th May 17, 11:02 AM
    • 933 Posts
    • 2,047 Thanks
    IAmWales
    • #5
    • 18th May 17, 11:02 AM
    • #5
    • 18th May 17, 11:02 AM
    3) Current house prices in the nearby area:
    - 2 bed flat in xxOMITTEDxx, valued at £380-400,000, council tax band D
    - 2 bed flat in xxOMITTEDxx, valued at £380,000 - council tax band D
    Are these sold prices or market prices? It's the former you need to look at, the value is what someone pays for it, most properties sell for less than the asking price.
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 18th May 17, 3:05 PM
    • 9,431 Posts
    • 7,413 Thanks
    lincroft1710
    • #6
    • 18th May 17, 3:05 PM
    • #6
    • 18th May 17, 3:05 PM
    As Nationwide's guesstimates tend to undervalue by 10%, your flat may be in the correct band. It is worth appealing though. Apartments 40 and 42 seem as if they should be in Band F.
    • Gkc
    • By Gkc 31st May 17, 8:31 AM
    • 2 Posts
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    Gkc
    • #7
    • 31st May 17, 8:31 AM
    • #7
    • 31st May 17, 8:31 AM
    Hi. They don't accept Nationwide house price index as a proof. When I appealed they wrote to me there are other factors which a house price index can't take into account. I went to Tribunal and more details on similar houses in lower band. Other thing I did and they do accept is if you can show similar houses were sold in 1991 in the price range you are claiming your band is in. I went to local library and got newspaper cuttings for houses on sale as there is no online database before 1995. In my case I had a call before tribunal hearing that they are lowering my band. If you can't prove similar houses were sold in 1991 in that price range and no other properties around are in lower band then your case is weak. Still worth a try as you have nothing to lose
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 31st May 17, 10:34 AM
    • 14,710 Posts
    • 13,078 Thanks
    AdrianC
    • #8
    • 31st May 17, 10:34 AM
    • #8
    • 31st May 17, 10:34 AM
    I received a response stating that our council tax band was felt to be correct, on the following basis:

    - other properties within the area (2 bedroom flats with lift, similar size or smaller than ours) are also band E
    - sales evidence of properties nearby in the early 1990s (I note they did not provide current market values of these properties today)
    - in response to my points about properties more expensive than ours being in a lower council tax band, they stated that one is on the main thoroughfare and another is outside of the 'complex' that we live in and of an older 'style' - they claimed this "would indicate the reason for the lower sale prices [even though they're actually MORE expensive than my flat!] and bandings"
    Originally posted by espritlibre87
    They don't need to provide current sale prices, because they're completely irrelevant in this context. The banding is done at nominal 1991 values. Some places/areas have increased in price more than others.

    They have shown that there are comparable properties in the same band. They have shown that comparable sale prices in 1991 were in the band E range. They have shown why other properties in the lower band differ to yours.

    I would like to know whether it's worth appealing this decision?
    Well, it doesn't cost anything... But I wouldn't hold your breath.
    • rtho782
    • By rtho782 31st May 17, 11:13 AM
    • 953 Posts
    • 644 Thanks
    rtho782
    • #9
    • 31st May 17, 11:13 AM
    • #9
    • 31st May 17, 11:13 AM
    Don't forget they have access to actual sales data from that time whereas you don't.

    It's also based on the value at that time, if your flats were newbuilds in 1991, it may well be that they were worth quite a bit more than the flats that were 15 years old at the time, whereas now both flats (at 26 and 41 years old) are worth the same.
    Deposit Saved since 01/12/15: £13,000 / £15,000 House Bought!

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