'Council tax appeal rejected as you’d lived in the property 6 mths+?' blog discussion

Former_MSE_Lee
Former_MSE_Lee Posts: 343 Forumite
This is the discussion to link on the back of Martin's blog. Please read the blog first, as this discussion follows it.

Please click 'post reply' to discuss below.


IMPORTANT NOTE! This is ONLY about cases where your appeal wasn't heard because you moved in the house more than six months ago

While I appreciate there are many other reasons, this is about collecting information specifically on the six month rule for feedback on other issues please see the links in the council tax guide.
- not any rejections
«13456

Comments

  • Hi martin, I bought an apartment in Glasgow 2 years ago to rent out. It was a new build and we were advised by the sales agent that the council tax band would be the same as others in the street - currently C or D for other 2 bed apartments in the street. We placed tenants in the property but because it was a new property there was a 6 month delay in the tenants being issued the new banding for the new property. When it eventually came, we were horrified to find it had been banded F. We appealed via the normal channels, but were told as the properties were by this stage over a year old, the 6 month appeal period had well passed.

    We had to just go with it, we couldnt find any other way of appealing the decision so had no choice but to let our tenants leave before the end of the tenancy agreement because we were accused of misleading them.

    We then placed students in the apartment as this was our only option at the time and meant council tax exemption on the property - no other tenants could be found who were prepared to pay over £230 a month on council tax for a 2 bed apartment. Many other new owners in the apartment block were forced into a similar situation and this has resulted in 6 floors of luxury city centre apartments being trashed by students, the standard of communal areas has plummeted and we are now faced with huge ongoing management fees to replace broken stairwells, lifts and doors and constant complaints and police referrals about poor tenants generally in the block.

    Had our appeal for council tax been permitted and a rebanding applied, along with the other owners of apartments in the block, this whole situation could have been avoided as we could have continued to place respectable young professionals in affordable accomodation.

    I fully support your fight over this ridiculous appeal issue.
    Im knitty, Im nutty, but I dont know anyone called Nora. :p
  • I do feel sorry for those not able to challenge their tax bands, and it seems really unfair to me.
    I understand that businesses can go back at least 5 years to claim overpaid rates, not exactly the same I know, but if any business can claim back rates retrospectively, why can't homeowners?:mad:
  • Hi martin, I bought an apartment in Glasgow 2 years ago to rent out. It was a new build and we were advised by the sales agent that the council tax band would be the same as others in the street - currently C or D for other 2 bed apartments in the street. We placed tenants in the property but because it was a new property there was a 6 month delay in the tenants being issued the new banding for the new property. When it eventually came, we were horrified to find it had been banded F. We appealed via the normal channels, but were told as the properties were by this stage over a year old, the 6 month appeal period had well passed.

    We had to just go with it, we couldnt find any other way of appealing the decision so had no choice but to let our tenants leave before the end of the tenancy agreement because we were accused of misleading them.

    We then placed students in the apartment as this was our only option at the time and meant council tax exemption on the property - no other tenants could be found who were prepared to pay over £230 a month on council tax for a 2 bed apartment. Many other new owners in the apartment block were forced into a similar situation and this has resulted in 6 floors of luxury city centre apartments being trashed by students, the standard of communal areas has plummeted and we are now faced with huge ongoing management fees to replace broken stairwells, lifts and doors and constant complaints and police referrals about poor tenants generally in the block.

    Had our appeal for council tax been permitted and a rebanding applied, along with the other owners of apartments in the block, this whole situation could have been avoided as we could have continued to place respectable young professionals in affordable accomodation.

    I fully support your fight over this ridiculous appeal issue.

    When my husband and I moved into our rented home we appealed the council tax banding. This was a couple of years ago but our experience may help others. It was us the tenants who appealed and won the appeal. Our landlord was not involved. I think the appeal was based on a material change rather than the date we moved in. We did have similar problems that it took the council so long to send the bill. However I would suggest if you were given one rate and the only way you knew it would be a higher rate was when the council sent their bill, the material fact should have been the receipt of the banding and not the purchase date?

    Following our successful appeal our neighbour (living in a semi she has the mirror image of our house) also appealed. She had lived in her house for a few years but was able to base her appeal on the outcome of ours and therefore the 6 months started from the date of our decision not when she moved in. The council did try to fight this and initially turned down her appeal. However it then went to another level (can't recall if it was a hearing or similar but was referred to someone else) and she won.

    If you can get tenants to take on at the higher council banding they should be able to appeal. Or if someone moves into a similar property and appeals it should then form the basis for you being able to appeal.
  • My only concern................and something not broached here..............but if everyone appeals and wins.............then surely the council tax values will go up.................... otherwise there would be less £ in the council tax pot...........meaning fewer services or an overall increase.
  • elainec
    elainec Posts: 206
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Forumite
    Have tried to appeal with fife council but have been rejected due to the 6 month rule, as we had lived in house for about 8 months!! Have tried twice but wouldnt even entertain an appeal 2nd time round due to this ruling. Only flat in street at c band rest are b and a and they have gardens where we dont have any outside area.
    Think its very unfair that they will not even look at our property and investigate due to this ruling.
    :j
  • Hi Martin We baught our property in 1997 for £45,000 we live in a mid terrace of 6 properties. We have got a small kitchen extention (16 square metres )different to our neighbours. The whole area of our property is 108 square metres. We are in a Band C our the rest of the block are in Band B. We did have the chance to appeal in 1997 but we didn't have any proof that we were in the wrong band (you could not get the information off the internet like you can now.) We didnt know our neighbours well enough to ask what band they were in.
    When you braught it to our attention in 2007 (we think it was 2007) we contacted our Valuation Office to see if we were in the wrong band only to be told we are in the right band.
    We have been through all the complaints procedures only to be told all the different departments can do is to look into wether the Valuation Office have followed the correct procedures NO ONE can look into wether we are in the wrong band. We have been told our property was valued by what other properties down our street sold for between 1989 and 1993.
    We have done online calculations which puts our property roughly worth £45.00 in 1991. Even when we have come up with what we see as proof that we are in the wrong band the Valuation Office will not even consider it to go to an Appeal.
    After many letters we have been told there is nothing else we can do.
  • Hello

    I too never bothered to go through with the case. It was a brick wall. Of five identical houses in our culdesac, we are the only one in a band higher, because we didnt find out until recently. Others have had the advantage of a lower band for years now.

    Ok, we should have checked when we moved in, but as the other poster has said, there is no real point at the end of the day as if there is a reduction in Tax going to the Council all they will do is put the Council Tax up to recover it. No one really wins.

    Gemma
  • BLT_2
    BLT_2 Posts: 1,307 Forumite
    I think people need to realise that this is a double edged sword, whilst there may be cases where individuals are lowered in their band, there is the danger that any re-evaluation will be used as a method of tax garnering by the councils concerned.

    When have you ever known a tax re-assessment to be to the benefit of the general public. Clearly this matter little to Martin Lewis as I doubt he has difficulties paying his council tax, however his quest for a re-evaluation in the interests of gaining additional publicity could be to the detriment of many.
  • Hi Martin,
    In December 2003, the children had moved out & we were fed up with pulling 22 sets of curtains each evening - so we moved from a band F house (Detached, 4 bedrooms, 4 reception rooms, two bathrooms, cloakroom & HUGE garden AND walking distance to the sea), to a TWO bed chalet bungalow seven miles away, same local authority (ARUN)
    A MUCH, MUCH smaller place YET the Council Tax band is E.
    When we appealed against this we was told it was the band given to our neighbours. We checked this, & yes it is the same band as our neighbours However, they live in 4 bed detached houses & the property next door, which has 6 bedrooms is a band F.
    We appealed again and received an abrupt letter, informing us that as six months had now passed since we moved in, we no longer had any right of appeal.
    So in our case, a detached TWO bed chalet bungalow in ARUN District Council is a band E
    The only other band E two bed chalet bungalows in ARUN D.C.,are on the 'private estates' wth direct access to their own bit of beach seven miles south of us
    There is something VERY wrong here and anything anyone can do to assist would be most welcome
    GOOD LUCK - We need it!! :mad:
  • The legislation states that you can only appeal in the first six months. If you use the word "appeal" when you contact the Valuation Office and you have lived there over 6 months, then they have to tell you that you can't lodge an appeal. However, the Valuation Office have a legal duty to maintain an accurate Valuation List, so you can ask them to review your banding at any time on the grounds that you believe the list to be inaccurate - just don't use the word "appeal" when contacting them. Changing the legislation would be largely an academic exercise and would make no practical difference at the initial stage. It only makes a difference if the Valuation Office advise that your banding is correct - under the appeal process you can take your case to Tribunal, but you can't take your case any further if you've only been able to ask them to re-examine your banding.
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