Over valued back in 1989 & now being penalized!

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Reclaiming Mortgage Fees, Council Tax, etc
6 replies 888 views
muskrat16muskrat16 Forumite
12 Posts
Eighth Anniversary Combo Breaker
To keep this brief, we only recently found that you can check neighbours' council tax bands, and discovered we were on a higher band than most similar properties.
Although in the past, we had queried our band, and was told it was correct.
We did our homework and produced plenty of evidence for the VOA as to why we thought we should be on the lower band, and they have just turned down our appeal, for a 2nd time. It appears they have used incorrect information from what they claimed was an earlier 'survey' of our property. We believe they've used old estate agents details, as the inconsistencies match the original blurb from the estate agent. These days, estate agents have to be careful not to make exaggerated claims, but back in 1989 (the year we purchased) they didn't. The VOA claimed they have turned down our request for rebanding because we had 'underfloor heating, a conservatory, a large plot and a double garage'. There was never a conservatory, but just a single brick shed attached to the side of the house, unfit for any use other than storing bikes/tools etc. We had removed the under floor heating system on moving in (before 1991, the year of council tax banding valuations) as it was damaging the concrete floors and we were advised it would also damage our carpets if we used it. Most of the neighbours have double garages, and similar sized plots. We were new in the area, having moved up from the south, and paid far too much for the property (which we soon realised afterwards), as it had been inflated during the property boom, and had been left unsold on the market, until we bought it, at what we thought was a fair price. It had already dropped by £33000). Had we waited, the property was about to be repossessed, and would have been sold at auction for considerably less. The VOA are choosing to overlook all of these points, and are going by the unfair 1989 price we paid, despite the market value being much lower for a property in the condition ours was in (it was in need of refurbishment, and had single glazed windows, an old kitchen and bathroom etc). Our mistake of paying too much, and the false information regarding our property has left us caught in a trap, of paying far more council tax than many similar or even better houses than ours! And to top it all, the VOA have just said we can't go to a tribunal, because of the 6 month ruling. What a farce! :(

Replies

  • HappyMJHappyMJ Forumite
    21.1K Posts
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    So....What's your banding? What's the value of your house in todays money? What banding do you think it should be? Have you refurbished the property?
    :footie:
    :p Regular savers earn 6% interest (HSBC, First Direct, M&S) :p Loans cost 2.9% per year (Nationwide) = FREE money. :p
  • muskrat16muskrat16 Forumite
    12 Posts
    Eighth Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Hi, As we've been here since 1990, we have done various things, but the year in question (1991) we hadn't. The improvements would only apply if we move, we believe?? We are in Band E, along with several vastly superior properties. Most like ours, are Band D.
  • muskrat16muskrat16 Forumite
    12 Posts
    Eighth Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I should add, we bought at end of 1998, but moved in at the end of January 1990. The VOA claimed we bought in May 1990, and another inconsistency!
  • muskrat16muskrat16 Forumite
    12 Posts
    Eighth Anniversary Combo Breaker
    We are hoping to take this to a tribunal, as our case is quite complicated and we are definitely in the wrong band. It's so annoying to see some luxurious houses on Band D, while we are paying more. Where is the fairness in this tax? Would happily be a guinea pig for Martin Lewis, but can't get hold of him...
  • edited 16 October 2013 at 3:22PM
    lincroft1710lincroft1710 Forumite
    15.1K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
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    edited 16 October 2013 at 3:22PM
    1) You can't go to a Valuation Tribunal as you are about 20 years too late! CT legislation is quite specific about the 6 month time limit.

    2) Although the valuations are based on values as at 1 Apr 1991, any extensions or alterations carried out before 1 Apr 1993 can be included, as this is the date CT came into force.

    3) The VOA would have obtained the date of your purchase from documents supplied by your conveyancer.
  • muskrat16muskrat16 Forumite
    12 Posts
    Eighth Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Thanks. A bit puzzled, because I have seen people here who have won, and been paid backdated refunds.... I take it that tribunals are different?
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