Council Tax Banding Appeals

.co.Hello, 1st time poster so apologies if this is not in the right section/has been covered in detail elsewhere etc

Anyway, have recently moved house - and taken advantage of a lot of the tips of this board (cheaper gas/electric/telephone/ISP), so with fresh impetus was looking for other ways to save.

Happened to take a look at https://www.voa.gov.uk and saw that of the 12 houses in my street, 4 of them are on a lower council tax banding (Band E instead of F). These houses are pretty much all identical (some of them have double garages instead of singles, not mine though).
I should point out that the 4 lower banded houses, all appealled and had their band reduced from F to E. (can see this info free on the voa.org website)

So, given that I'm within the 6 month limit after moving (which allows you to appeal), I've put in an online appeal using the simple justification that 4 other people in the street have successfully appealled and had their bands reducing so why can't I.

Admittedly they might not be the most original grounds for an appeal, and I won't find out until the beginning of July, but could be a fair saving of almost 300 quid.

Has anyone had any experience of appealling against their council tax banding. I'd also be interested in knowing of anyone who has come across the horror scenario of appealling but the voa deciding to increase the band (although on the appeal you specify what you think the correct band should be, so maybe they can't do this).??
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Replies

  • alexei_2alexei_2 Forumite
    39 Posts
    When I moved a couple of years ago I thought I had bought a house in Band E.  However, after a few weeks we received a notice of banding change.  This was on the grounds that the previous owners had extended the house.  I complained and said that the sale documents confirmed the house was in Band E but apparently they only review bandings when a house is sold (so as not to deter people from doing home improvements!). As there had now been a sale they could now put it in Band F.  Although I appealed they gave me other houses in the road that were also rated as Band F.  As I had only recently moved I had no way of comparing their houses to mine.

    I wasn't best pleased especially as our Council Tax is one of the highest in London and probably the country.
  • Hi,

    In the process of doing the same thing after one of my neighbours did the same and won.

    Its taking a long time so far three months have gone by and the hearing like you is due in July.

    I'm aiming to go from a band D to C.

    My reason was that an identical house (same style and builder) won just up the road. It started off with one house appealing, since a number have - you could say thatt orginally that our house was borderline anyway based on what we paid.

    I wouldn't have thought yours should increase because you must be close to the lower band and with what you've said about the other houses you have a strong case - but don't bank on it.

    I know if we get the money then its going into a savings account and forgotten about - until needs must.

    I'm appealing after 10 years in the property - so hoping a back-date until the banding tax started.

    Good luck! my fingners are crossed for both of us.
  • AndreaAndrea Forumite
    368 Posts
    I've been Money Tipped! Chutzpah Haggler Newshound! PPI Party Pooper
    I've just received a letter from the VOA this morning saying there's been an appeal decision made by the valuation office and that my property is going to be reduced from D to C.  

    The effective date of alteration is 19 October 2001 (the week I moved in) so, yes, I think yours could well be backdated too StratApproach  :)

    I don't know why this has happened as I haven't appealed at all.  This was a brand new house when we moved in so although I'd thought about appealing I'd always assumed they would have got the band right in the first place.

    Still, I'm not grumbling.  Two and a half years' worth of backdated council tax for the difference should work out at a couple of hundred pounds.  Guess who'll be getting the rounds in the Arms this evening? ;D
  • thefuzzboxthefuzzbox Forumite
    37 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
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    wahey! letter from the VOA said they've looked into it, and to save it going to tribunal they have agreed with my suggestion that it be downgraded from F to E. Result: Saving of 300 quid or so.
    Makes you wonder how much time they spent looking into it. I thought I had a rather flimsy reason for appealling!!
  • mattyhmattyh Forumite
    125 Posts
    OK I fancy saving some money on this. :)

    I don't think I have much chance, but I live in lincolnshire and my band C house is worth around £130k. I've been to my local council website, and it shows the bandings are based on the value of a property on a 'common date', in this case April 1991, as follows:

    BAND VALUE PAYABLE
    A up to 40k £769
    B 40-52k £897
    C 52-68k £1025
    ... and so on

    My house was built in 1999, and I'm no property expert but i bet if it was around in 1991 it'd be worth 40-52k.

    Does anyone recommend taking this angle to appeal in this case? Or in the case of new builds is it simply the cost when they were actually built that counts?
  • lisyloolisyloo Forumite
    29K Posts
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    Or in the case of new builds is it simply the cost when they were actually built that counts?

    It is the estimated cost in 1991 (even if your house didn't exist in 1991).

    They will estimate it by comparison with properties of the same size nearby.

    If you know of nearby properties of the same size in a lower band then you could use that as evidence, but I was told they would have to be very close by (within about 2 miles).

    It a pretty inexact system.
  • mattyhmattyh Forumite
    125 Posts
    ...and onto my next question. Is there any way of finding out the bands of other properties nearby? (Without actually speaking to any of my neighbours of course ;) )
  • lisyloolisyloo Forumite
    29K Posts
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    You could try looking at estate agent details of properties for sale (online).
    These often have the council tax band in the details.
  • libra10libra10 Forumite
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    We successfully appealed several years ago, and advised a neighbour to do the same. The process did take some time but was quite straightforward and easy.
    The council reduced both bands and we have saved a few hundred pounds in those years.
  • thefuzzboxthefuzzbox Forumite
    37 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
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    mattyh,

    To get the banding for any property in the Uk (?!) go to https://www.voa.gov.uk and click on council tax,
    as long as you know the postcode, and the house number, it will show you the band, and the banding history i.e. appeals
    or the following should take you straight to the search pages:
    http://www.voa.gov.uk/council_tax/cti_home.htm
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