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



  • HighC
    HighC Posts: 12 Forumite
    edited 31 August 2011 at 9:32PM
    Update : followed Martins system and went to Tribunal. refund £1,273 received August 2011 !!!!!!

    We bought our property 14 years ago and it never crossed our minds that the banding could be incorrect. We have since examined on web sites, and followed your suggestions. Without doubt the property is charged as "D" and should be "C". I provided full supporting information but received a standard "cut and paste" rejection.
    The rejection gave no facts, no basis of decision and contained false information, finally stating that I had no right to appeal due to the 6 month rule.
    I sought clarification - ie which houses have they compared with , what prices have they used etc etc. I have received another abrupt letter saying the answer is no and I have no right to appeal because of the 6 month rule.
    I was very annoyed. If they substantiated their position I could accept it, but the attitude is that because of the 6 month rule they refuse to engage and blatantly lie.
    Fortunately I noticed on the web page that if you have demolished a garage, then this qualifies for the right to make "a valid proposal".
    In my case , I demolished the garage 14 years ago and can prove it ! I have also not rebuilt the garage. I have made a formal proposal to change to "C" which will at least force them to investigate and substantiate.
    Lo and behold they have now made an appointment to visit the property. I sent them google maps links showing "no garage" but as a government office they cannot access. Obviously at the time of the initial two rejections they had absolutely no idea which property they were assessing. Its a disgrace.
    I am still fighting!
  • Martin, i am having similar problems and all i get back is the month law, and even tried contacting my MP for support but again goes back to VOA for them to say sorry its house prices in 1991. Letters i have sent:-

    "Gary, with reference the above address, i have read your response but still very unhappy and bemused by the outcome. I know the generic answer is house prices in 1991, but how is that fair??? I also know that i can only appeal up to 6 months of living in the property but have only realised in the last year that the banding's are different. Should i have been made aware of this when i bought the house in 2001.

    I have a house 8 doors up which runs a window cleaning company and has a massive water tank outside there property. They have 5 occupants but still pay in band B thus paying £10 a month less than us in water. I have a 5 bed house in the street that pay £20 a month less than us for police. So i am sure you can understand my frustration.

    Could you tell me of any other ways to get this looked at?? I have contacted my local MP also as really don't see this is fair!!"

    Generic response was 6 month rule and house prices in 1991

  • Craig_Reddy
    Craig_Reddy Posts: 1 Newbie
    edited 11 November 2010 at 7:21PM
    Hello Martin,

    Me and my mum live in a two bedroom flat, placed in band D, with my neighbours in band C. I have requested a banding revaluation three times and had all three attempts rejected.

    The first time, I used figures from the land registry to support my case and had a valid response of why they cannot use price indices because of regional variations (which is understandable).

    The second time, I used previous sales figures of the flat next door (sold in 2008). The sale of this flat was £30,000 less than what it needed to be in order for it be in band D. The response received stated I could only use houses sold in 1991 (as far as I'm aware they only have access to this data)

    The third letter simply argued that as the band for the flat next door ,which is exactly the same size, is C why is my flat in band D. The response received was that according to their records my flat is 7m/sq bigger and they "believe" that is why it's more.The final response also abruptly stated I cannot write to them again in regards to a re-banding and how there is few legal routes I can take if I do not agree.

    Hopefully you could get them to find this imaginary 7 sq/m as me and my neighbour are sure we both have the same size flats. Let me also state that even if his flat has been underestimated. There is still an issue of an over-valuation of about £30,000.

    P.S. Upon asking my mum as to why she didn't appeal when we moved in she said that she was on income support and had no council tax to pay. She only came off income support after we lived their for 3 years so why would she inquire as to whether the right council tax is being paid. Hopefully you were not aware of this anomaly previously and has highlight how the 6 month rule is flawed.

    Kind Regards

  • My claim was rejected by the Swindon Valuation Office last year under the six month rule.

    I have lived in my house in North Wiltshire since it was built in 1988. On this small estate most of the four bedroom houses face the road with the narrow side to the front and my house and a couple of others with the wide side facing the road. At first glance from outside you would think that my house is larger than those which face the road narrow side on. In fact the houses are exactly the same size and have an identical layout inside and I have the original sales brochure to prove it. My house is in Band E and my neighbours are in Band D. I am really annoyed that not only can I not claim a refund of overpaid council tax but I am still paying considerably more than my neighbours for exactly the same property.
  • I challenged my banding in 2008 on the grounds that I paid £107,500 for my house that was in band F which is for houses with a value of £120,000 to £160,000. I also have a building society valuation for mortgage purposes which valued it at £110,000.

    My challenge was refused on the grounds of the six month rule so I appealed and went to a tribunal but was again rejected under the same rule even though my house value was well below the threshold.

    Hope you can get this rule changed.

    Many thanks

  • Dear Martin

    following your advice I did the appropriate research and a great deal more to come up with conclusive proof that I was in too high a council tax banding. My local VOA office supposedly looked into it and rejected my findings gleefully telling me at the end of the letter that I had no right to appeal. It was a standard letter that in no way addressed my findings. I went to the Citizens advice Bureau who said that it was a no brainer that I was in the wrong banding but that the only thing left for me to do was see my local mp.
    I have consequently managed to see tory mp for battersea Jane Ellison. She was unaware of the situation and asked me how I had come to know about it. I showed her all my findings and she is in the middle of speaking to the head of the VOA regarding my situation. I am waiting to hear what they will say but so far the VOA has disputed my findings despite the fact that much of my information has come from their own site so I doubt very much if they have looked into my case at all.
  • Hi Meophan Rainbow - I am in a similar situation in having just got married (in July) and so my wife has moved in with me. I believe I am in a similar position as to yourself as if my wife can appeal then I may be able to re-gain previous council tax as I feel I am in the wrong band.

    If possible could you tell me which borough you made the appeal to?

  • I contested my banding approx 3 years ago. The increase in banding was wrongly attributed to my house following some building work performed in the adjacent house. My banding was increased but my neighbours wasnt.
    This meant I had been given the wrong banding for at least 8 years and it wasnt until I was able to use the comparison website to see other houses that i identified the problem.

    I attended a tribunal hearing and they rejected my case based upon the 6 month discovery rule - subsequently they increased my neighbours banding to match mine.

    Overall I was overcharged £2,400 and never got a penny back

  • WhiteHorse
    WhiteHorse Posts: 2,492 Forumite
    And to think that when the spending axe falls, local council staff will be in the press expecting sympathy and support from the public ...
    "Never underestimate the mindless force of a government bureaucracy
    seeking to expand its power, dominion and budget"
    Jay Stanley, American Civil Liberties Union.
  • Has anyone thought about challenging this under the Human Rights Act? Surely theres something in that in which someone could challenenge the government to changing their policy as your in effect in the current environment being financially supressed by the government by them making you pay more for a necessity.
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