Council Tax Valuations - the true story

I'd like to correct some of Martin's comments about the valuations carried out for Council Tax puposes. I was one of the valuers involved in preparing these assessments in 1992, following the Local Government Finance Act of that year. Council Tax did not come into effect until 1st April 1993, but the valuations we carried out in 1992 were based on values as at April 1991.

In my experience most of the valuers were, like me, chartered surveyors who were carrying out work such as residential valuations on a daily basis. I agree that some estate agents were also involved but I am pretty sure that they weren't in the majority. And far from there being no 'detailed information' available we were in fact provided with the District Valuers' complete records of every house which included the accommodation, heating, extensions etc which the District Valuers had collected for the previous rating system. The whole exercise was very well organised by the local District Valuers' offices, and there were regular random quality assessments of our work, both by the District Valuers and other valuers. (The District Valuers barely exist now, and are called the Valuation Office)

Of course the valuations were only carried out on a 'drive-by' basis. How else does Martin suggest they could've been done? It would've been impossible to find enough valuers to visit and inspect every house in the land. And don't forget that we were putting the houses into 'bands' of value, we were not doing assessments for selling purposes or anything like that.They were not 'poor'' valuations - the vast majority were accurate, but in an exercise as big as this one there are always bound to be some mistakes and I applaud you for encouraging people to get them rectified. But please don't use this to denigrate the valuers who did the work, and please also correct your statement that 'every word' of your story 'is true'. Thanks.


  • JJ_EganJJ_Egan Forumite
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    As this is a forum you should contact MSE with your comments .Interesting as they are .

    PS Martin sold the site many years ago
  • brian25brian25 Forumite
    3 Posts
    First Post
    Thanks. How would you suggest that I contact MSE? I have not found any email address and that is why I resorted to putting this on the forum.
  • CISCIS Forumite
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    brian25 said:
    Thanks. How would you suggest that I contact MSE? I have not found any email address and that is why I resorted to putting this on the forum.

    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery but instead work as a specialist Council Tax paralegal assisting landlords and Council Tax payers with council tax disputes and valuation tribunals. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
  • edited 24 August 2021 at 11:01AM
    steampoweredsteampowered Forumite
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    edited 24 August 2021 at 11:01AM
    As you say, they were drive-by valuations made en masse for every house in the entire country without ever visiting the properties being valued.

    I am sure that you did your best and were very professional, but it hardly sounds like an accurate process.  
  • brian25brian25 Forumite
    3 Posts
    First Post
    Please bear in mind that we were putting the properties into a band of value, not valuing them to the nearest £1000 or whatever. I think people forget this and it is most important. With the information provided, placing the vast majority of properties into the correct band was not difficult, except where a property was on the cusp of being say a B or a C. I suspect that this is where most appeals occur.The bands were as follows:-
    BandValue at 1 April 1991
    Aup to £40,000
    B£40,001 to £52,000
    C£52,001 to £68,000
    D£68,001 to £88,000
    E£88,001 to £120,000
    F£120,001 to £160,000
    G£160,001 to £320,000
    Hmore than £320,000
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