Council Tax. Are You Paying More Than Your Neighbours? Check It Out

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Official insert

Council tax eats up a huge chunk of many people’s budgets, yet there’s an easy way to check you’re not paying too much.

What’s the score?

How much council tax you pay depends on your property’s “banding”; a letter from A to H which varies according to the size, location and layout of your home. Yet many don’t realise it’s possible to challenge your banding and pay less tax.

Are you paying too much for your pad?

Sadly these bandings haven’t been revalued since the system began in 1993 so many are out of date – especially if you've had a night club built next to your house or it's been turned into flats (though you could also be paying too little if your home’s improved!).

It’s worth noting that properties in Wales were revalued last year; so if you’re Welsh your banding’s likely to be more accurate.

If you live by yourself (or with a student(s)) you pay less

Do remember those people living alone are entitled to the single person discount of 25% off their council tax bill. Also students don't pay council tax, thus two students together don't pay. If a student lives with a non-student, then as the student doesn't count the house's council tax bill is reduced as if its just a single person living there.

How to challenge your banding

This handy website allows you to check which bands your neighbours are in; if they’re all on a lower banding yet have similar sized houses, they may be a chance you can appeal.

Simply go here and click “go” to start. If you feel that your property band’s unfair the first step is to call your local listing officer, who will explain how the band was decided.

Finally, you can appeal online to the Valuation Office Agency to get your band changed.

If your case is rejected and you bought your house less than six months ago, then you have right of appeal to the independent Valuation Tribunals Service.

For the scottish version of this service see the Scottish Assessors site

Back to the original post..................

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Are you paying more council tax than your neighbours?

Check it out at www.voa.gov.uk



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Replies

  • Thanks for that. Looks like when the council gets round to revaluing all the properties, my band is going to rise :mad: as my neighbours who have extensions are a couple of bands higher
  • bootmanbootman Forumite
    2K Posts
    I've been Money Tipped!
    I have just looked at the other 4 houses where I live they are all banded G like me.

    I am only a 3 bed house and all the others are 5!!!!!

    If I come out the same as them after review I think i will apeal
  • MaisieMaisie Forumite
    1.3K Posts
    bootman wrote:
    I have just looked at the other 4 houses where I live they are all banded G like me.

    I am only a 3 bed house and all the others are 5!!!!!

    If I come out the same as them after review I think i will apeal




    Yes I am in the same situation. House along the road with a big extension same band as ours.

    Either the Valuation ofice don't know about it or haven't caught up with extension.
    I did read further on that site that if the house is sold after the extension the band would be revised.

    This one has been sold but rating band not changed.
  • Thanks for a great link Maisie

    cheers ;-)
    Col
    I'm tired of the censorship :D
  • asandwhenasandwhen Forumite
    1.4K Posts
    wow thanks for that - just noticed that all my neighbours with the same size house are a band C and I am a band D - I have appealed online (can do this as have been in the property for less than 6 months) - my house has no extention or anything and some of the houses in the road have and are still a band lower :mad: will let you know of the outcome.
  • I have just heard back from the council -they are lowering my band from a d to a C - they said they will back date to 1993 - shame ive only been here since march - how will they get hold of the previous owners/tennents to refund there overpayment?
  • asandwhenasandwhen Forumite
    1.4K Posts
    Just wanted to share with you all my successfull appeal against my council tax banding :-

    After reading a thread on here about appealing against your council tax banding I thought id give it a go - I was in a band D and thought it was excessive - I called the local valuer and we had a long discussion about why I thought it should not be a D - Then he just said yep I agree with you and said you are now a C :j - Cant believe how easy it was - He even said it would be back dated to april 1993 :eek: - shame ive only been here since march :( - He also said my next door neighbour is being down graded too - they have been there for 15 years - Havent told them yet though not sure how happy they would be (the snotty type).
  • Bogof_BabeBogof_Babe Forumite
    10.8K Posts
    Forumite
    I think it is most unfair that we cannot appeal on the grounds that we've only just found out that most of the neighbouring houses are on a lower band. They don't exactly make this information readily available, do they? :mad: We've been here 17 years and just assumed that the road, which has only 30 houses anyway, would all be on the same band.


    Our dormer bungalow with one small (only just a double, minus clothes storage) and two tiny "bedrooms" is band E, same as the house opposite which was sold a few years ago as having five bedrooms. Next door have extended and now have four bedrooms plus an en-suite, but are only band D. All the houses at the bottom of the cul-de-sac are band C. It's ridiculous :(.
    :D I haven't bogged off yet, and I ain't no babe :D

  • labp04labp04 Forumite
    295 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts
    Forumite
    Hi, yep, feel kinda guilty for not having thought to tell of my recent experiences :o I stumbled across the voa site getting on for 2 years ago, noted some anomalies re my banding and others locally and then I found the grounds to appeal based on the info provided by voa. I was taken to the day before an appeal hearing and then, via a 'phone discussion negotiated 2 bands lower resulting in me paying nothing this year and getting a few 000s returned! I guess the big thing I learnt is to keep going and not to accept the doubts etc created by the civil servants in their communications. :j
  • withabixwithabix Forumite
    9.5K Posts
    bootman wrote:
    I have just looked at the other 4 houses where I live they are all banded G like me.

    I am only a 3 bed house and all the others are 5!!!!!

    If I come out the same as them after review I think i will apeal


    If no appeal has ever been made on your property's valuation banding, you can appeal now. Nothing to lose.
    British Ex-pat in British Columbia!
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