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

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  • Mr Neill, I live in a 1 bedroom flat rented from a Housing Association set up to give Social Housing to elderly and disadvantaged people.
    My tax band is C when I have multiple friends with 3 bedroom houses and 80 and 120 foot long gardens in lower bands (A).
    I was not informed when I took over the Tenancy that there was an Appeal Process and when I finally found out, my appeal was denied because of the 6 month rule.
    I was recently advised by Council Staff that they thought that I had a good chance of resetting my tax band after finding out my upstairs Neighbour with an identical home was in a lower band.
    This was rejected by a letter stating no mistake had been made and that they were going to increase my Neighbours bill and not lower mine. My area was stated to be the 6th most deprived area in the country by the Government.
    I was part of a European Community Inspection to do a census on property conditions and was told flat was substandard condition.
  • I moved into my house in 2007 in Glasgow. I have an identical house to the one opposite but they are in council tax band D, I am in E.

    I don't know if any subsequent adjustments to my house, made between 1991 and 2007 caused it to be placed in a higher band, I was simply told by Council that because I had lived here for more than 6 months they wouldn't consider reassessment. I was also told there was no option to appeal this decision.
  • WhiteHorse
    WhiteHorse Posts: 2,492 Forumite
    inazumarob wrote: »
    This was rejected by a letter stating no mistake had been made and that they were going to increase my Neighbours bill and not lower mine.
    Start running. :D
    "Never underestimate the mindless force of a government bureaucracy
    seeking to expand its power, dominion and budget"
    Jay Stanley, American Civil Liberties Union.
  • I have had an ongoing issue with council tax, along with 3 other neighbours in my road, The 3 bed semi-s are a band E and the 2 bed a band D, but the 2 bed detached is an E (whilst being the same size as the semi houses. These were buit in 2005 and an we asked the VOA to compare to the older houses in our very road, that are 2 and 3 bed also but banded as mainly D banding, some houses are bigger than ours! They say we are border line E band but refuse to compare to houses, I have gone as fair as I can with MP backing, but no change at all, and VOA say the next stage is a review to make sure they have done job right, How can they review themselves! Just to add some of these houses are rented from a Housing Assoc, while the others a shared ownership, we say they are not affordable to council tax
  • rke_2
    rke_2 Posts: 6 Forumite
    I recommenced my efforts to be banded the same as my neighbours this time last year following a "fob off" by the voa a couple of years ago. They tried the 6 month rule which I told them was a nonsense. They then offered to undertake a review which I accepted and which comprised of no more than a letter to me telling me I was correctly banded. I told that it wasn't acceptable and they then agreed to undertake another review in which they produced "comparables" which were in a more expensive street and were larger properties which are semi's whereas mine is terraced. I rebutted their position by pointing out the inappropriateness and banged in a complaint and freedom of info request which amongst other things resulted in an admission by them that 50% of the properties reviewed by them in my street were rebanded downwards! a neighbour confirmed this, together with a request by them to him not to tell anyone else that his property was being rebanded downwards! They also wrote back and confirmed they were happy with the way the reviews on my property had been conducted, including one which I was unaware of. I then complained again pointing out that amongst other things, that the person who reviewed the reviews was actually a sub ordinate of the reviewer and was therefore not disinterested. I also copied in my MP and asked him if he could sort it out. They then wrote back stating that all of the properties in the street which were in a lower banding were being reviewed as their bandings were obviously erroneous. I gave them 6 months to review these properties ( all 3 of them!) and then wrote to them demanding to know what was the product of their reviews as the valuation listing was unaltered. They then wrote back stating their review was incomplete. A week later I checked the listings and discovered that they had marked the properties as subject to review, which the owners were unaware of! I then wrote to the Adjudicators Office and complained that they were failing to comply with their statutory obligation to maintain an accurate banding lists. They then referred it back to the VOA stating that their internal resolution procedures had not been exhausted. The VOA have also confirmed this, and stated that they would be getting back to me within 20 days. That was about 25 days ago, so another kick up the backside will be on it's way to them in about 5 days time.
    In my view the VOA are essentially perpetrating a fraud by attempting to justify the unjustifiable. I've no plans to give in until I get what I am entitled to, which is to pay the same tax as everyone else. No more, no less.
  • I moved into my girlfriend's (now my wife's) flat in London in 2007 and contributed to council tax resulting from the increase in adult occupancy. As I was within the 6 month period I was able to successfully challenge the CT banding, even though my gf had not been able to as she had lived there for a number of years.

    As a result of this not only did we have no further CT bill for that year but my gf was refunded with several hundred pounds for overpaid CT dating back to when she moved in. None of this would have been possible if I had not moved in and added myself to the CT bill, and my gf would have carried on paying the wrong amount.

    No wonder she married me :) Cheers Martin! :money:

    PS those who are cynical about the risk of increasing CT bills for others should remember that the CT band could increase as well as decrease if you appeal - it is not a risk free enterprise.
  • amichae1
    amichae1 Posts: 4 Newbie
    edited 4 November 2010 at 5:32PM
    Dear Martin,
    After reading your original post regarding Council Tax Banding, I set about following all the steps necessary to find out how it affects me and my family.

    1) After asking all of the people I knew, on my street with the identical house, I found out I was in the Higher Tax Band "E".

    2) After mapping out the whole street's Council Tax Banding, using the online tools you suggested, I discovered that I was 1 of 3 people on our street and surrounding streets that was paying higher Council Tax Rates.

    3) After calculating the cost of my property, back at the time when banding started, the price of my house came in around £10,000 under the current band I am in...


    ****** HERE'S THE SHOCKING NEWS ***********

    My neighbour, merely 3 doors away with the identical house to ours, took the "Valuation Office / Council" to the Tribunal within the six month period of moving in after the Valuation Office attempted to increase her Banding from a "D" to an "E" ( same as me )..
    The tribunal awarded her the case and she WON her appeal.

    4) SOOOOO,, I now have a house which is banded higher than almost every other house on my street. A House which produces a calculated cost price well below the current banding "E" in 1992, AND a neighbour who won her appeal against the valuation office's attempt to upgrade her banding from "D" to "E".

    STILL,, they refuse to come and see me and insist that the valuation is correct, and all this from their desk without even coming to see the property and explaining WHY !!

    They have now told me that because I have asked for two valuations ( which they have simply carried out from their desk ),
    I NOW HAVE NO RIGHT OF APPEAL.

    ( bizarrely, the 1992 drive-by valuation technique now seems a luxury to the current method of desk side valuation )

    I contacted my Local MP (Enfield),, Mr "Nick De Bois" who was furious and kindly offered to write to them on our behalf so they can at least come and see us and explain why..

    Sadly, I think I will have to result in contacting a "No Win No Fee" legal firm to represent me and if they win, they will simply get 40% of all the money that we as a family have paid, and that is really not fair..

    Maybe my house is banded correctly, maybe not, nonetheless, how do families like ours with kids at school studying for GCSE's - Go against the might of the Council / Valuation Office !! Impossible ..

    It's a crime !!:(
  • parliarment DO NOT MAKE LAWS. they pass acts and statutes.which are only enforceable with the consent of the individual..... YOU LOT. PLEASE ALL VISIT THE SITE THAT HAS TURNED MY LIFE AROUND. NEXT TIME YOUR BANK SEND YOU A LETTER SAYING THEY ARE CHARGING YOU. THEY DONT WANT A REPLY. SO SEND THEM ONE, SAYING YOU DO NOT CONSENT TO THESE CHARGES..... THE LETTER THEY SENT IS PART OF A BI LATTERAL AGREEMENT. WHICH IS PUT IN PLACE BY YOU NOT REPLYING,THEY ASSUME CONSENT. SO TELL THEM YOU DONT CONSENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IT IS THEN THEFT IF THEY TAKE IT. BRITISH GAS SIGNED AN AGREEMENT WAY BACK IN BEGINING CALLED THE ON US ACT. SO ACCEPT IT. BECAUSE ITS YOUR GAS THEY TAKE AND PROFIT FROM. CHECK OUT WHAT GOVERMENT BONDS ARE. FORIEGN SITUS TRUST ACCOUNTS. (YOUR BIRTH CERTIFICATE) WHICH IS A BIG POT OF CASH CALLED MONEY OF ACCOUNT... THIS ACCOUNT IS FOR YOU!!! BUT THE FIRM,SORRY GOVERNMENT BORROW ON THIS ACCOUNT,UP TO 9 TIMES. AND PROMISE THE LENDER,YOU WILL WORK THEYRE DEBTS OFF IF THEY DEFAULT.......... VISIT TPUC.ORG AND GET YOURSELF EDUCATED AND THEN USE YOUR MONEY OF ACCOUNT FOR YOU, COMPLICATED,BUT NOT TO BAD IF YOUR UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT YOUR READING IS QUITE GOOD... LOOK AT VIDEO CALLED RUN FROM THE CURE... CANNABIS OIL CURING SKIN CANCER IN 4 DAYS, HONEST. BUT THE FIRM CANT LET US HAVE A CURE.... HOW WOULD THEYRE FRIENDS AND FAMILIES GET RICH THEN IF YOU COULD GROW YOUR OWN CURE FOR CANCER IN YOUR GARDEN.... SO SO SO MANY LIES WEVE BEEN BROUGHT UP ON!!! SO WE THE 90% CAN KEEP THE 10% IN THE LIFESTYLE THEY ARE GETTING USED TO. FORGET CONSUMER RIGHTS FOR NOW.... SORT YOUR HUMAN RIGHTS. RIGHT TO SAY NO, RIGHT TO LAWFUL REBELLION. HOPE THIS HELPS SOME OF YOU TO BE FREE NOT JUST DEBT FREE. ASK YOUR COUNCIL TO BRAEKDOWN WHERE EVERY SINGLE PENNY GOES, THEY WONT BUT TRY. IF THEY DO TICK THE ONES YOU AGREE WITH AND THATS WHAT YOU PAY. YOU`LL ALL SAVE AT LEAST 25% AS THAT IS HOW MUCH GOES ON FAT USELESS CATS FINAL SALARY PENSIONS TPUC.ORG THE PEOPLES UNITED COMMUNITY.
  • I have several years of correspondence with my local Valuation Office who have rejected a request for revaluation twice. I live in a small chalet bungalow which is Band G. All my neighbours are in bigger houses, in some cases on plots of land that are several times larger (like several acres) and all are lower bands (E and F). This has to be a result of the completely flawed drive-by valuation process in about 1992.

    Because VOA say my house is correctly banded, they have not been prepared to consider the inconsistencies. Even my MP has been unable to help.

    I was so confident that the new Government would put this injustice right with a revaluation that I was almost suicidal when I heard that Eric Pickles had abandoned the idea (presuimably for political reasons, but that doesn't stop it being an injustice).

    I believe that this situation is nothing less than fraud, with people like me subsidising those who are lucky enough to live in undervalued property.

    I am confident that, were I allowed to appeal formally, my house would be reduced by one if not two or more bands. Had I been aware of the position when I moved here in 2002, I could have appealed formally then, but of course this situation only because well known when information was put on line well after that year!
  • Appealed against our Band F tax in correct timeframe, appeal rejected and I took no further action. In June 2007 when you first published details of how to access the VOA, research your house price in 1991 etc., I did all this and found to my horror that 2 4-bed houses in my small close in Redbridge who also appealed at the same time, were successful and reduced to Band E.

    If house prices tipped our 3-bed just into the £120,000+ category in 1991, I would accept this decision if ALL the houses in our small close were Band F, but how could these 2 4-bed houses have won their appeal - they've got to have been valued at £120,000+ at that time, which is the fundamental basis of how council tax was calculated.

    So, over 4 years of writing, emailing, visiting your It Pays to Watch show and contacting the Valuation Office, the Valuation Tribunal, the Local Government Ombudsman, & the Parliamentary & Health Service Ombudsman, and my local MP, I am no further forward - all of these procedural complaint bodies just pass the buck from their office to the next person - then inform you that they can only look into whether you were dealt with fairly, not the Tribunal decision. They inform me that they no longer hold any records on the two houses I am investigating, and cannot comment on why they were placed in Band E. The last letter from the VTS quotes "the tribunal must determine each case on its merits and the evidence presented on the hearing day". In 4 years of fighting my corner, nobody will accept responsibility for fairness and offer help or support.

    I want to know why those two houses were successful in 1991 and I was not. If - as you told me on your show - the Council has a legal duty to be fair and consistent, they are failing miserably in their duty, and I have been a victim of their inconsistent procedures, which to date has cost me £3,786.54 being the difference between Band E and Band F from the day council tax was introduced.

    I hope my case can add yet another example to your fight on our behalf with Bob Neill. Thanks for all you've done regarding council tax support so far - it is truly appreciated!
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