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  • FIRST POST
    • chaotic_j
    • By chaotic_j 13th Jan 18, 7:25 PM
    • 341Posts
    • 112Thanks
    chaotic_j
    Advice on VOA Inspection
    • #1
    • 13th Jan 18, 7:25 PM
    Advice on VOA Inspection 13th Jan 18 at 7:25 PM
    Hi,

    In September 2017 we completed a house purchase, the previous owner had a single storey extension built sometime after 2001 which has a toilet and large room formerly a home office.

    As such, there is an improvement indicator against the property with the VOA. We received a letter from the VOA addressed to me by first name and initial stating they were considering whether the council tax band was correct. Out of curiosity how would they have obtained my name?

    We then received another letter in December 2017 saying they wanted to make an internal inspection of my property and that they may need to take photographs of the outside. The letter has no name at the end of it, just 'Listing Officer'.

    This letter arrived the day before the inspection was supposed to take place and we only saw it on the day as we haven't moved in yet. I called the VOA and advised it was too short notice, they said they would be in contact to reschedule.

    Must we and is it advisable to arrange this access? it says in the inspections section of their rating manual they can't enter the curtilage of the building, take photographs or gain entry without permission. They can take photographs from the public highway only.

    the current band is E, which has been in effect from April 2004. The property is a 6 bed end terrace, the middle house which is much larger is also an E while the opposite end house that is a mirror image of ours is a C.

    The difference between our house and the opposite end house is we have the single storey extension, a very large garden i.e. big enough to build another house on! and small concrete with asbestos roof garage.

    An increase from E to F would be £400 a year more council tax. Another end terrace house across the road with 5 bedrooms and similar size garden but probably bigger overall footprint is an F. Another house up the road in a better location, detatched with 6 bedrooms and large garden is an F.

    How near does a property have to be in order to be used to make an appeal? I think our property should remain in band E.

    Thanks in advance for your help,
    chaotic_j
Page 1
    • mije1983
    • By mije1983 13th Jan 18, 7:39 PM
    • 2,638 Posts
    • 18,430 Thanks
    mije1983
    • #2
    • 13th Jan 18, 7:39 PM
    • #2
    • 13th Jan 18, 7:39 PM
    This is what the gov.uk site says about nearby properties

    They must also be either:
    • in the same street or estate - if you live in a town or city
    • in the same village - if you live in the countryside

    https://www.gov.uk/challenge-council-tax-band/evidence-supports-your-challenge


    But don't forget, if you use the opposite end terrace as an example and the VOA agree with you, it doesn't mean your band will stay the same. They could just change both properties' bands!

    • anselld
    • By anselld 13th Jan 18, 7:45 PM
    • 5,498 Posts
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    anselld
    • #3
    • 13th Jan 18, 7:45 PM
    • #3
    • 13th Jan 18, 7:45 PM
    It is already a band E with an improvement indicator. Seems unlikely to remain E and you must have been aware of that probability.

    I isn't going to help your case to deny access.
    • chaotic_j
    • By chaotic_j 13th Jan 18, 9:28 PM
    • 341 Posts
    • 112 Thanks
    chaotic_j
    • #4
    • 13th Jan 18, 9:28 PM
    • #4
    • 13th Jan 18, 9:28 PM
    Ok so we will have to allow access.. I think it's fairly clear they will be looking to put it up from an E to an F otherwise they wouldn't be going to the trouble of coming and having a look..

    If the E banding was effective from April 2004, does that mean that was when the single storey extension was built and when they put the improvement indicator on the property? It doesn't mean they inspected it then does it?

    I may as well start to think about my appeal around now.. our property is on a main road which has houses for probably 3/4 of a mile.. according to those guidelines it doesn't matter whether a house is near the town centre or on the outskirts, we could look at all council tax bandings of larger properties on the road as evidence?

    Yes I understand they could put more than our own band up! I think C is a pretty low band for such a property..
    • G_M
    • By G_M 13th Jan 18, 9:28 PM
    • 42,786 Posts
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    G_M
    • #5
    • 13th Jan 18, 9:28 PM
    • #5
    • 13th Jan 18, 9:28 PM
    They got your name from the Land Registry. Changes to banding happen when there's a change of owner.

    No - denying them access is not a good idea.
    • Tom99
    • By Tom99 14th Jan 18, 7:24 AM
    • 1,021 Posts
    • 620 Thanks
    Tom99
    • #6
    • 14th Jan 18, 7:24 AM
    • #6
    • 14th Jan 18, 7:24 AM
    The VO are automatically notified of every sale and keep a record of them including full names of all the parties involved, they don't need to approach the Land Registry.

    If you don't allow them access they may put the Band up anyway based on the information they already have.

    Was PP required for the extension, that might give you some rough idea when it was built.
    • 00ec25
    • By 00ec25 14th Jan 18, 9:22 AM
    • 5,795 Posts
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    00ec25
    • #7
    • 14th Jan 18, 9:22 AM
    • #7
    • 14th Jan 18, 9:22 AM
    have you read?

    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/understand-how-council-tax-bands-are-assessed
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 14th Jan 18, 2:40 PM
    • 10,198 Posts
    • 8,286 Thanks
    lincroft1710
    • #8
    • 14th Jan 18, 2:40 PM
    • #8
    • 14th Jan 18, 2:40 PM
    VOA will inspect virtually all dwellings which have an improvement indicator and have since been sold. It does not automatically mean that a band will definitely increase.
    • phoebe1989seb
    • By phoebe1989seb 14th Jan 18, 3:00 PM
    • 3,186 Posts
    • 6,517 Thanks
    phoebe1989seb
    • #9
    • 14th Jan 18, 3:00 PM
    • #9
    • 14th Jan 18, 3:00 PM
    Indeed - after selling our last house, it was inspected and put up two bands, from C to E. We had carried out a comprehensive restoration project that included removing a dilapidated attached outbuilding which we replaced with an extension that was roughly three times its size, but small in relation to the property as a whole.

    When we saw the improvement indicator we knew our buyers would be faced with an increase, but we weren't expecting it to go up two bands!
    Paid off mortgage early - mortgage-free since age 40 (2007)

    Over £40,000 mis-sold PPI reclaimed
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