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

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  • MinMoz
    MinMoz Posts: 156 Forumite
    edited 10 November 2010 at 12:42AM
    Was beaten by the 6 month rule in North Lanarkshire too. Moved into my house 9 years ago and only realised about my incorrect banding 3/4 years ago.

    Situation: was in a 2 bed end terrace in a band above the 3 bed and larger house through the wall (was not just this house but also every 3 bedroom house in the immediate area). Challenged with the valuation board unsuccessfully and then went to a tribunal. Tribunal ruled that it was not successful due to the 6 month rule. The valuation board in my area did not admit they have a liability to keep their records up to date either - they claimed they would only alter bandings when a house was derelict or burnt down.

    In fairness to the tribunal panel they did attempt to help me by claiming that although I had been in the property over the 6 months if any of my neighbours successfully appealed then I could piggy-back off them, but there were no instances of this that I could use.

    Wrote to my local MP about it as it seemed very unfair only to receive a letter back saying they knew it was an issue but it was introduced by the previous administration and there was nothing that they could do about it.

    Having seen the number of people who have successfully challenged their banding it shows the inconsistencies throughout the country, which really should not be the case.

    Let me know if you want any further details as I should have the letter from my MP and also the written confirmation of the tribunals decision somewhere.
  • I contacted Midlothian Council after reading about the council tax rebanding on your website. I was given the same excuse, that I had been in the property more than six months so it would not be looked at. We made an appointment with a Midlothian Council member of staff who came out to our house to assess the property and he agreed that the two bedroom property's in the street should not be in the same band as the three bedroom, two bathroom properties. He said that even though he agreed with us it would be highly unlikely that this decision would be overturned. When the houses were built he told us that someone basically drove into the street and made a decision based on that. They did not even look at the spec of the properties. The houses are either 2 bedrooms, which I live in, or 3 bedrooms with an upstairs and doorstairs toilet. Needless to say I didn't get the decision overturned. All the other two bedroom properties in the surrounding streets are a band b but we have been put on a band c.
    Fingers crossed for your meeting.
  • Hi Martin

    I enquired about the banding of my home on 2/8/2010 to my local assessors, The Dunbartonshire and Argyll & Bute Valuation Joint Board (DAB/VJB) I received a reply saying that my proposal was not valid. I again appealed and was granted a hearing before a Valuation Appeal Committee consisting of membersof the Local Valuation Panel for Argyll and Bute Dunbartonshire and Glasgow. The letter informing me of the hearing on 2/11/2010 also stated that the sole purpose of the hearing was the validity of my proposal. and nothing more. Needless to say that it was thrown out simply because it was made outside the 6 month rule and that "the law is the law"

    I have contacted my MSP and await a reply. I was also concerned that the above hearing was not conducted in private and I had to state my case in front of other appellants.:mad:
  • I live in a row of 5 cottages. All but mine are 2/3 bed, mine is a 1 bed and the smallest yet all are banded the same. When I wrote to St Alban's council I was told that as I had been in the property for over 6 months I could not appeal. At the time of moving in (rental) I had no idea what my neighbours were paying.
  • PepPop
    PepPop Posts: 1,790 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    My partner and I appealed our banding - We are a B but should be and A. We followed all your step-by-step instructions and sent all the relevant information to them. We were initially told that it was because our kitchen was bigger than the flat below (by 1 INCH!!). We queried this and were then told that we didn't have a leg to stand on because we had missed our hearing - even though we hadn't been informed of a time or date or even that one existed. We queried this again to be told that we were wasting our time anyway due to the 6-month rule.
    I have been in the flat for 13 years and have been paying the wrong amount since then - I personally think they are just using every excuse not to give us a refund.
  • I live in the Bromley Borough in London and had lived there for a year before I saw Martins site on rebanding. I live in a Band F house in a row of 13 identical houses and when I checked I found 2 were in Band E. Using the House price calculator for 1991 Q2 my house was valued in the middle of Band E. In January 2010 I used the process Martin described. I wrote to the Valuation Officer in Bromley stating my case, that I had not got round to querying the band before as I had had a number of personal issues (which I stated) and asking them to reconsider the banding. By luck I did not use the word "appeal", which I note someone else has since advised against.

    I heard nothing for 6 months until I got a letter saying I was rebanded! The refund was not large (about £250) as I had only lived there for 18 months, but it also reduces my future payments. I told the other residents in the road, some of whom have lived there since 1991, and some of them have since applied and been given the rebanding within a few weeks and received a rebate of over £3,000!

    This shows that the 6 month rule is not applied the same throughout the country, which is unfair. Full marks to Bromley for behaving in a fair and reasonable manner.
  • Hi Martin,

    I've still got the letter I received from Central Bedfordshire Council a month or 2 back after reading your original article about claiming.

    I have been renting in Leighton Buzzard for over 3 years now and until recently I was unaware that all my neighbours are Band B and I am a Band C.

    Although I am in a 3 bedroom house, some of the properties around me have been extended and are now 4 bedroom!

    Whilst I would like to get a refund, I am increasingly finding it hard to get a refund from last year when my partner was a full-time student!

    A simple fix to put it into the right banding would be a start.... I appreciate that Councils have budgets and have already spent previous Council Tax.
    The smaller the monkey the more it looks like it would kill you at the first given opportunity.
  • I moved into my house in October 2005.

    After speaking to neighbours it became apparent that we were all in different bands but having the same sized houses!!

    My house is in Band D but others in my street are Band C and I think there are also a few Band B's too!!!

    I did contact my local council who provided me with a complete list of all properties in my street along with the band they are in.

    I got nowhere at all with the Valuation Office and they kept saying that I need to deal with the council and the council said I had to deal with the valuation office!

    It really frustrates me that big organisations can fob people off and simply try to pass the buck onto someone else.

    If you can help or assist I'll be very grateful.
  • We moved into our house in 1994 and received our council tax assessment shortly after. The valuation appeared to be reasonable so we had no real reason to consider an appeal. It was only after reading a recent MSE article with a valuation calculator that we decided to confirm the accuracy of our banding.

    After we saw the results we also followed the link to the bandings for the rest of our estate. It was there that we discovered that we appear to have been overvalued. There are basically 4 different sizes/styles of house on our estate of which there are 8 of our style of house. All houses of the size/style of our house are assessed as Band D except for ours which is assessed as Band E.

    We appealed last month and have now been advised that our banding appeal has been time barred. Interestingly though, they also say that they are "looking into" the banding and that they have 2 months to get back to us with the results of the review. As they have already told us that our appeal is time barred, I am uncertain what action they will take if they decide the original valuation was incorrect.

    Incidentally, in 1994 the remaining houses of our size were not built and were not built within the 6 month appeal time frame. We therefore had no comparative information on which to base an appeal.

    BWG
  • ALF_2
    ALF_2 Posts: 10 Forumite
    Hi Martin,

    In 2007 I tried unsuccessfully to appeal against the denial of reviewing the valuation of my property.

    I stated that "I do not believe that the council tax banding list is correct. I know you have a legal duty to maintain the integrity of that list and under that duty I would like you to investigate my property because I believe it is banded erroneously".

    Because the tribunal had no regard to any evidence of whether the band of the property was incorrect but more important to them was whether the proposal made was valid. As the proposal was made after 6 months of living in the property, it was not considered valid.

    So any legal obligation to "the integrity of the council tax list" was not considered important. If the listing is wrong they do not care because this legislation is intended to limit the ability of an appeal thus try and stop people correcting a mistake in the council tax list.

    Regulation 25 of the Council Tax (Alteration of Lists and Appeals) Regulations 1993 seems to be, as stated by the Oxfordshire Council, aimed at stopping mistakes being corrected and so ensuring that the integrity of the council tax list is NOT upheld.
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