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    • MSE Archna
    • By MSE Archna 10th Jan 07, 12:02 PM
    • 1,874Posts
    • 6,140Thanks
    MSE Archna
    Council Tax Rebanding SUCCESS stories
    • #1
    • 10th Jan 07, 12:02 PM
    Council Tax Rebanding SUCCESS stories 10th Jan 07 at 12:02 PM
    MSE Insert!

    Forumite lanerideruk successfully reclaimed 19 years' worth of council tax - 2,400! Join and let us know what you've reclaimed too.

    Read how to do it yourself:

    This thread is especially for reporting your successes in getting your council tax rebanded plus refunds.

    The aim is to show others that it works.

    Please report your successes here, if possible in the format:

    Local Borough Council:
    Council Tax Band Before:
    Council Tax Band After:
    Amount refunded:
    Annual saving going forward:

    Plus if possible a few details on your experiences.IMPORTANT NOTE! This thread is only to report succcesses

    Please note this thread is ONLY for reporting successes/experiences. It isn't for answering questions, discussing what to do, or postulating on the general issues; any posts of that nature will be deleted. If you want to do that please instead go to the Discussion on Council Tax Cost Cutting

    This Forum Tip was included in MoneySavingExpert's weekly email

    Don't miss out on new deals, loopholes, and vouchers

    Last edited by MSE Andrea; 24-08-2015 at 1:15 PM.
    Report inappropriate posts:

Page 2
  • FranklyMyDear
    Council Tax Rebanding SUCCESS stories
    Thank you Martin, it worked for me!
    Local Borough Council:South Somerset
    Council Tax Band Before:Band F
    Council Tax Band After:Band E
    Amount refunded:2,570
    Secured the lower banding back dated to 1st April 1993, what a result; I can hardly believe it.
    I did not expect to be successful as I had originally objected to the allocated banding back in 1993, which was rejected.
    This time, my main point was to quote the similar sized houses within and adjacent to my postcode that were in the lower band (I got the details from the voa/gov website) with my next door neighbour in a similar style house being the one a spoke about when I got to chat with the Valuation Officer at County Hall. I had a fallback point that I did not have to use, that the house was significantly devalued by being declared by the D of E as being in a flood plain area. (that of course would apply to next door as well, but I reckoned that it just about qualified as a reason to ask for a review)
    When the re-banding was confirmed in writing, the reason was quoted as original banding wrongly allocated by administrative or clerical mistake.
    Good luck to all Money Savers...don't forget to try the Flight Checker!!!!
  • Bracknell
    it works!
    Local council: Woking
    Band before: G
    Band after: F
    Refund: 350

    Thanks to this site! I moved in 18 months ago and didn't know about this. After reading the site, I tried the web links and realised that everyone else on my street was F apart from me, and some of the houses were bigger than mine. My purchase price, backdated, indicated that I should have been in F all along. I just wrote a very polite letter to the Valuations Agency asking if, please, they would consider it even though I was beyond the 6 month period. No contact from them but two weeks later I received an updated council tax bill and they backdated it 18 months from when I moved in. A very positive experience from a helpful and responsive council.
  • Microbeman
    Local Borough Council: NE Derbyshire
    Council Tax Band Before: D
    Council Tax Band After: C
    Amount refunded: ~£1400

    Started the process in September after visiting then checking the valuations on my street via the VOA website. Lodged an appeal and got denied but they said they would look into it to see if the banding was fair and consistent. I sent them all the details of which houses were the same as mine but they just seemed to ignore this and said it was fair and consistant and wouldn't be changing it. I phoned and queried this decision as all the houses on my street were built at the same time, about 13 years ago and the 5 that were the same as mine were all banded lower. I spoke to someone who didn't seem particularly interested who said he would look in to it. Phoned back another month later and another discusion seemed to reveal that they thought my house was bigger than all the others. Possibly the original details were wrong and also the fact that we had had an extension built, so that now it was bigger, may have introduced confusion. When I pointed this out and made the point that the extension should not affect the valuation until it is sold on, the penny finally seemed to drop. A further phone call after Christmas revealed that the banding had been reduced from D to C backdated to 1993. £940 has been received already but due to the fact that the rest will have to worked out manually (a further 6 years) there is more yet to come. I estimate the total rebate to be in the region of £1400 .

    My advice: be polite, courteous and patient but if you know you are right don't be fobbed off it would have been easy to give up at many points along the process.

    My wife said we had no chance of getting any money back when I first told her about this she is planning how to spend £1400!!!!

    Well done Martin
    Last edited by Microbeman; 26-01-2007 at 4:10 PM.
  • Dog Kennel Hill Dave
    770 Household Success
    I do wish you had spoken to me Martin,
    no I don't crave fame but I will forgo modesty at this point because when you are the Chairperson of a Tenants Association of a pre WW2 Housing Estate back when a Government introduces, a 'Community Tax' which of course has been called a lot of other things before settling on Council Tax, and you discover that you and your neighbours flats have been valued by Estate Agents driving around your estate in an expensive car I, we, were upset!!!
    A retired Union Representative is one of our neighbours and he knew all about tribunals. One day this gentleman stepped into the TA office and told us he had won his case against the Valuation Office, it dawned on me and one of the professional Community Workers we were so lucky to have then, that of course!! this set a premise.
    Our regular TA newsletter explained to the 777 households of our estate what we wanted to do on their behalf and volunteers and the staff went on the doorstep to explain to everyone, in case of communication problems. We made a mass application covering many band valuations and to give them their due the Valuation Office were very helpful, indeed at a meeting they agreed to reduce their paperwork they would accept a single application from each block for all the residences in each block, after we got a couple of hundred applications and a petition together.
    Didn't go near the Council we knew that would slow things down.
    It took quite a bit of work but it was worth it as virtually everyone had their valuation band reduced by one, I can't tell you what happened to those who wanted to complete the application themselves, that of course is their business and yes we had a party when the Valuation Office came through. To this day people have saved money and even those that moved here later have benefited in a place where money is tight for the working people of my estate.
    Approximately 770 property bands were adjusted even the empty flats on our estate which, ironically stands on the edge of Dulwich where a certain Mrs Thatcher had a home at that time.

    • MSE Martin
    • By MSE Martin 26th Jan 07, 11:52 PM
    • 8,114 Posts
    • 42,267 Thanks
    MSE Martin

    This thread is only to report succcesses or experiences.

    All off-topic posts have been deleted.

    If you want to feedback on the issues around this subject, whether good or bad, whether you agree or not please go to the
    Discussion on Council Tax Cost Cutting

    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.

    Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at

    Debt-Free Wannabee Official Nerd Club: (Honorary) Members number 000
  • dizzydi77
    Local Council: Adur
    Band Before: D
    Band After: C
    Refund: 1150 (approx)

    Hi all you moneysavers!

    I looked at this article and wasn't sure it would work for me, but gave it a try online. In my street, all were valued in band D except for 2 houses at the end of the street that challenged in 1993 and were reduced to band C.

    My online challenge was answered rapidly with the reply that it was an invalid proposal (as I had been in the property more than 6 months). I was advised that I could challenge but must provide further evidence. Downhearted, I thought that I would gather some really good evidence / pictures / plans etc. but put it off for a few weeks because I was busy. The morning I was going to go out and complete the report, I received a letter notifying me of my new council tax band and another telling me I had a large refund.... and how did I want my money!

    Don't be shy........ just go for it.

    I love this site! Now to shaft the banks!!!

    I hope that this helps someone.

    Kind Regards
    by nrgmonkey
    I have yet to challange the council tax band but my situation sound very similar to yours. All the houses on my street are a Band E (including mine), apart from a few who have extended and are a Band F. I assumed this meant I would not be suitable for a rebate, however, when calulating the 1991 cost it seems I am about 500 less than the Band E valuation states so I might be able to move to a Band D. Will give it a try now after having read your post. Thanks.
  • frase64
    It worked for me
    Local Borough Council: Stafford
    Council Tax Band Before: F
    Council Tax Band After: E
    Amount refunded: £300

    We moved into our house at the end of 2003 and our council tax was set in Band F.

    As our house was only 4 years old it was difficult for me to find out how much it would have been valued at in 1991 (I didn't know about this site then).

    I checked the banding for 3 other properties the same as ours and they were in band E. We assumed ours was higher because one of our garages had previously been converted into a living space and the others weren't.

    There was another housing estate near to us which was older and the houses there were very similar so I drove around to see which properties were 'similar' to ours and noted down their addresses. I checked their banding and they were all in Band E.

    I submitted an appeal online stating my reasons for believing why we shouldn't be in Band F at and a few days later received a letter giving a date that the hearing would take place. Shortly after the set date we received another letter stating that our property had been incorrectly banded and had been moved back to Band E.

    After talking with neighbours I found that when the properties were first built, all of them were put into Band F and everyone got together and appealed with great success, some of them were dropped by 2 bands!

    If you don't try you'll never know and you've got nothing to lose in most cases. I just wish I'd have known about MSE as it would have saved me a lot of time and hassle.
    Last edited by frase64; 27-01-2007 at 10:54 AM.
    Worst Debt November 2005 11,089.80
    Quidco since November 2006 969.31
  • summersnearlyhere
    Kirklees Metropoloitan Council: Huddersfield
    Band C changed to Band B

    We bought our house in 1996 and at the time the house prices had dropped a little. The price of our house was not in the range for the C banding and I appealed. An Officer from the Valuation Office visited me at home and looked at my house but said that because the banding was done on the valuation of my house in 1991, when they had evidence of it actually being sold for more money I was unable to have my banding change and could appeal. I decided there was little point.

    But about a year later my neighbour came round to tell me that some of our neighbours all living in the same style 3 bed semi's had successfully had their banding changed by comparing houses built by the same builder in another village and similar area whose banding was B. She gave me the address to write to and all I had to do was put this information in a letter and mention that some of my neighbours had had their banding reduced. A few weeks letter I received a reply saying our banding was redued and that the money we had overpaid would be deducted from our present bill.

    I then was inspired to look at my MIL's house which is a long street of terrace properties that were all banded B but some were much bigger than others. I applied to the Valuation Office and they visited my in-laws and reduced their banding. Being pensioners the really felt the benefit of their banding being reduced and it was back dated four years, the amount they'd overpaid was taken off their current years bill.

    It was very easy to do so go for it! I felt like I'd won the lottery especially after being told we couldn't have our banding reduced. Just to find out later they were actually reducing the banding of our neighbours but if my neighbour hadn't told me I would never have known. It's not like the council are actually going to write to you and tell you that your neighbours have had their banding reduced is it?
    Addicted to money saving
  • Beatle
    When I bought my first property in Cambridgeshire in 1994 my property was banded as D. I did my research as to the banding of same properties to find they were band C and successfully had it downgraded to a C. I also discovered that water bills for properties were based on the valuation of your house so therefore challenged Anglian Water. I was told that no-one had ever had their water bills reduced because of valuation being wrong. I challenged this as my water rates were based on a dearer property. I am pleased to report that my water rates were reduced. Surely this would be the case for everyone.
  • creamtea
    alternative due to busy voa website
    Voa website has been busy since the programme on Friday night:
    try this another way in to check your banding.
  • gold

    Hi All

    Great posts, have followed Council Tax rebanding

    Have been on VOA site, and looked at our banding which is marked up as B, Band review pending. Have read their explanation of this and it seems to suggest that even now we have modernised, the rating which was A should have perhap stayed the same as the property has not be sold, am I right in thinking this?

    We bought the property a small detached bunglow in 1983, which was unmodernised, no hot water,heating and only two bedrooms. We paid around 23,000 at the time. We live in a close and are the only bunglow of this age so have had problems rating against the other properties in the area. The other properties are modern terraces and are rated B along with some bigger properties with higher ratings.

    All advise would be appreciated Thanks in advance
    Last edited by gold; 28-01-2007 at 4:53 PM.
  • eden37
    keep solicitors documents for evidence
    I did this a few years ago and reclaimed about 600 (as I'd only been in the house 3 years). I went from band B to band A as I had all the documents from my solicitor when I purchased the house detailing how much it had been sold for in the past. This showed that the house had changed hands for about 20,000 in 1989 - and I argued that house prices didn't double between 89 and 91 when the valuations were taken. This meant my house wouldn't have been worth more than 40,000 (band B) in 91. If you've kept your solicitors documents when the property was purchased, this can be a useful piece of evidence. Especially if it's changed hands several times.
  • keentosavemoney
    Council Tax Rebranding
    April 2007
    Council - South Lakeland District Council
    5 weeks after making appeal, got letter advising that council tax band had been rebanded from E to D. Got refund for 5 years overpayment - £1400+ and next door neighbour got 9 years refund of £2400 (she had recieved single persons discount) What a result.

    My next door neighbour had been on at me for years saying that we were in the wrong band but at 87 she didn't know how to start appealing. After reading article in The Daily Telegraph and on this website, I did some investigations and found that at the time of valuation in 1991 we should have been band D. Phoned the local valuation office - very hopeful for a rebanding and refund. The lady in the valuation office did say that the Nationwide website to calculate prices was very generalised over the whole country - so try this link -

    This seems to give a more accurate valuation at 1991 because it uses your actual postcode and local authority.

    As band E is the widest band, therefore capturing the most properties, If you are in E I would definitely check whether you are in the correct band or not.

    Looking forward to hearing back from the valuation office in a few weeks!
    Last edited by keentosavemoney; 07-05-2007 at 9:38 PM. Reason: RESULT
  • dumbledore
    Wyre Forest Council
    Council tax before: Band E
    Council tax after: Band D
    Refund 399.95 plus remaining council tax being covered, plus previous owner got the rest of the refund.

    We only moved in in 2005, and I saw Matin's write up in the Times, so I looked into it, and it worked for me. They did tell me it should have been done within six months of moving in, but you can appeal, so everyone should appeal and get a refund if it is owed. Do do your homework on all the facts before going to the VOA, you do not want your tax band increasing.

    The great thing is that our council have even written to all the other houses in our street and changed their council tax banding since I did mine, not that any of them know it was me, I am just pleased that I did some good for them all.

    Good luck to you all
  • nattybone
    Stickability for success!
    council tax band before: F
    Concil tax band after: E
    Amount saved:25 per month

    I have recently appealed our council tax banding to get it from an F to an E.

    At first I was outrightly turned down but then went online and appealed the decision.

    Thanks to the info on this site and some simple research I told them how we had the same no of bedrooms and reception rooms ofthe other half of our semi and we should be valued at the same level.

    My court date came through followed by 4 intimidating letters saying that I needed to tell them if I did not plan to attend the hearing and to prepare a proper representation for my case.

    I have stood firm!!!And not been intimidated to step down!!!

    2 days before the hearing I received a letter saying that they were happy to downgrade us to an E.

    So...the moral of the story is ....sit your research on other properties in the area....and wait for some results. When they know you mean business I think they play ball!!!

    Good on ya Martin!
    man who go to bed with itchy bottom wake up with smelley finger!
  • rorynolan
    Local Borough Council: West Lothian
    Council Tax Band Before: F
    Council Tax Band After: E
    Amount refunded: not sure yet

    This was so easy to do. I read the article Martin wrote on this issue about 2 weeks ago and I got an idea what he was talking about. I looked up the house price of my next door neighbour which is a different stlye of house but was more or less identical value to mine. I then looked at their band and they were in E and I was in F. So I appealed through the valuation board in Scotland 2 weeks ago and this morning, I just received an email and it said this;


    Having made enquiries concerning the Council Tax Band at the above
    address I now intend to reduce your banding from Band F to Band E with
    effect from the date you became liable at the above address.

    RESULT.. and thanks to Martin & Co. for pointing this out.
  • ramraideruk
    This thread is especially for reporting your successes in getting your council tax rebanded plus refunds.

    The aim is to show others that it works.

    Please report your successes here, if possible in the format:

    Local Borough Council: BROMLEY
    Council Tax Band Before:B
    Council Tax Band After:A
    Amount 1050refunded:
    Annual saving going forward:70

    Plus if possible a few details on your experiences.
    It was very simple. I contacted the adjudicator with the reason why my flat should be rebanded (same size as flat below but flat below was band a).
    I got a letter of confirmation about three weeks later. I got my confirmation of refun, from Bromly, three weeks after that and then the cheques a month afterwards.IMPORTANT NOTE! This thread is only to report succcesses

    Please note this thread is ONLY for reporting successes/experiences. It isn't for answering questions, discussing what to do, or postulating on the general issues; any posts of that nature will be deleted. If you want to do that please instead go to the Discussion on Council Tax Cost Cutting

    by MSE Archna
  • caztaz72
    Unsuccessful Because I Have Moved
    I check my Council Tax address on my old address, and I was astonsished to find that the hole street had DIFFERENT BANDS. The bands went B, C, B, C, B and so on. All the houses were the same size, so I dont know why the banding was like that.

    BUT because I have moved they are saying that I can not claim. Is this true?

  • shamb
    other ways to challenge council tax banding
    Just thought I would point out another way to challenge your tax banding...

    If you dont recall anyone coming to survey your house in the very early 1990's to check your tax banding, then its probable that your house was not specifically checked! Instead, the council *checked a small number of houses in your area and assumed your house is the same*.

    If your house is close to the bottom of a band, then you can argue that you should actually be in the next lowest band if your house is not typical.

    This was the case with my house, and I was able to have my house rebanded down because of it.

    In particular, I argued that a typical house in the areas would have cental heating installed, and I could prove that mine did not have this in the 1990's. I did this by showning reciepts of central heating installation work done in the early 2004 (when I actually moved in to the property).

    This may be the case with many houses; your house is close to the bottom of the band but there is something about the house that makes it atypical (e.g. most other houses on the street have a garage and yours does not, etc). This is a good way of rebanding *even when your house is the same band as the other houses on the same street*. This works because the council did not take account of minor per-house differences when banding.

  • yinny
    Thank you Martin
    Thanks to this site I have just recieved 2890 council tax refund. it was so easy, I just looked up the other houses in my street, spotted some were lower than mine, wrote to the valuation office, filled in the forms, got my refund and now booking the tickets to Florida courtesy of Martin and Derbyshire council.

    Go on, have a go, if I can do it anyone can.

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