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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Archna
    • By MSE Archna 6th Oct 06, 7:00 PM
    • 1,874Posts
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    MSE Archna
    Council Tax Cost Cutting: reduce your band and grab any discounts Discussion Area
    • #1
    • 6th Oct 06, 7:00 PM
    Council Tax Cost Cutting: reduce your band and grab any discounts Discussion Area 6th Oct 06 at 7:00 PM
    This thread is here to discuss the content of the article on Council Tax Cashback: reduce your band and save £1000s.

    However if you have already followed the system, please use report them in the Council tax rebanding successes discussion.

    Note from Martin: Thank you to all the contributers to the initial thread, which provided the genisis for the article. Much appreciated.


    Last edited by MSE Archna; 10-06-2010 at 4:39 PM.
    Report inappropriate posts: forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com




Page 252
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 21st Dec 17, 2:03 PM
    • 10,732 Posts
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    lincroft1710

    Do we have any hope?
    Originally posted by Shirazee
    As Band G has such a wide ban span (£160,001 - £320,000) there are bound to be very different houses in same band. Try to find larger houses than yours in Band F
    Last edited by lincroft1710; 21-12-2017 at 2:07 PM.
    • Graham Wilson
    • By Graham Wilson 26th Jan 18, 11:20 AM
    • 1 Posts
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    Graham Wilson
    Interest on Council Tax Refund
    I recently received a Council Tax refund of more than £6,000 and am currently complaining to the VOA because of their refusal to pay me circa £2,500 of related interest.

    At the heart of my complaint is the fundamental inequality, which the VOA fails to acknowledge, that the “pound” I paid my Council in 1993 is not the same as the “pound” they refunded in 2017.

    The VOA argues that, because they feel no mistake was made when my property was originally banded, there is no obligation under their code of practice to pay interest. A code of practice has no legal status. I accept Council Tax law does not provide for the automatic payment of interest (unlike the law governing non-domestic rates). IMPORTANTLY, Council Tax law does not prohibit it, and so, where statute is silent, in my view one should look to case law. For example, in the case Reinhard v Ondra [2015] EWHC 2943 (Ch), the judge reminded the court that the basic principle behind awarding interest is to compensate for being kept short of money and is not a punitive measure. Mistake is irrelevant.

    Has anyone used this argument? Would any lawyers out there wish to comment?
    • CIS
    • By CIS 26th Jan 18, 1:45 PM
    • 10,527 Posts
    • 6,082 Thanks
    CIS
    I recently received a Council Tax refund of more than £6,000 and am currently complaining to the VOA because of their refusal to pay me circa £2,500 of related interest.

    At the heart of my complaint is the fundamental inequality, which the VOA fails to acknowledge, that the !!!8220;pound!!!8221; I paid my Council in 1993 is not the same as the !!!8220;pound!!!8221; they refunded in 2017.

    The VOA argues that, because they feel no mistake was made when my property was originally banded, there is no obligation under their code of practice to pay interest. A code of practice has no legal status. I accept Council Tax law does not provide for the automatic payment of interest (unlike the law governing non-domestic rates). IMPORTANTLY, Council Tax law does not prohibit it, and so, where statute is silent, in my view one should look to case law. For example, in the case Reinhard v Ondra [2015] EWHC 2943 (Ch), the judge reminded the court that the basic principle behind awarding interest is to compensate for being kept short of money and is not a punitive measure. Mistake is irrelevant.

    Has anyone used this argument? Would any lawyers out there wish to comment?
    Originally posted by Graham Wilson
    Or - look at it the other way, there's nothing in council tax legislation requiring the statutory payment of interest - in a decade of working in council tax I've not come across any case of anyone getting interest for a banding error.

    Where a court hears a civil case there is a statutory, discretionary, basis for payment of interest (CCA 1984, SCA 1981 etc) and/or it will form part of an alleged agreed contract. This statutory basis is not there in respect of the valuation office or local authority - it would only become a due where a court hears the case and orders that interest be paid.
    Last edited by CIS; 26-01-2018 at 3:33 PM.
    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery but instead work as a self employed Council Tax specialist. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 26th Jan 18, 2:37 PM
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    lincroft1710
    Would any lawyers out there wish to comment?
    Originally posted by Graham Wilson
    There are a few MSE posters with legal knowledge but probably none with the specialist knowledge you appear to be wanting. If you want legal advice then you will probably have to pay for it. In my opinion expecting 40% or so interest is totally unrealistic, where money is held to be owed the maximum interest payable is 8%.

    A code of practice may not have any legal status, but there would have to be a very compelling reason for an organisation (especially an Agency of HMRC) to deviate from it.

    As there is no legal requirement for interest to be paid on CT refunds, the VOA could be criticised for wasting public money if they did pay interest.
    Last edited by lincroft1710; 26-01-2018 at 2:49 PM.
    • Bubbles914
    • By Bubbles914 30th Jan 18, 9:22 PM
    • 1 Posts
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    Bubbles914
    Hi,
    Apologise if I’m in the wrong forum ( my first post)
    I’m looking for some advice.. I currently rent a two bed end terrace house which was built in 2014. I was curious about council tax bands, so decided to check what my neighbours bands are. After checking I notice they are the same band as me even though the rest of the houses are 3 beds. Is this something that is taken into consideration when “banding” is issued? I would be grateful for any advice !!!128077;!!!127996; Thank you!
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 31st Jan 18, 1:43 PM
    • 10,732 Posts
    • 8,984 Thanks
    lincroft1710
    Hi,
    Apologise if I’m in the wrong forum ( my first post)
    I’m looking for some advice.. I currently rent a two bed end terrace house which was built in 2014. I was curious about council tax bands, so decided to check what my neighbours bands are. After checking I notice they are the same band as me even though the rest of the houses are 3 beds. Is this something that is taken into consideration when “banding” is issued? I would be grateful for any advice !!!128077;!!!127996; Thank you!
    Originally posted by Bubbles914
    The size of the dwelling has more significance than the number of bedrooms when calculating CT bands. Because of the width of the bands it is very easy for there to be very many different dwellings in the same band. Your home could be at the bottom of the band, the 3 beds at the top.
    • sildenafil
    • By sildenafil 4th Feb 18, 1:23 PM
    • 14 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    sildenafil
    I have just realised that living alone entitles me to a 25% discount on council tax. My ex-partner moved out of my house in October 2016. Would I have recourse to reclaim payments from back then? Or will I only be able to get a discount moving forwards now when I contact my local council?

    Many thanks
    • CIS
    • By CIS 4th Feb 18, 1:27 PM
    • 10,527 Posts
    • 6,082 Thanks
    CIS
    I have just realised that living alone entitles me to a 25% discount on council tax. My ex-partner moved out of my house in October 2016. Would I have recourse to reclaim payments from back then? Or will I only be able to get a discount moving forwards now when I contact my local council?

    Many thanks
    Originally posted by sildenafil
    There's no specific legislative limit on backdating, some councils may put a fight however.
    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery but instead work as a self employed Council Tax specialist. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
    • ddks
    • By ddks 11th Feb 18, 12:35 PM
    • 33 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    ddks
    Missed sales evidence
    We've gathered all the sales evidence used by the VOA in previous VTS cases, sales from 1990 to 1992 - 4 of which are infill plots and 2 are estate developments but 3 properties have double garages, they range from 123 to 131m2.

    One of the properties was sold in Feb 91 for £100,000 then again in Jan 1992 for £91,000 - so shows a timeline of the market behaviour over 11 months.

    The town is not very big 2 miles from south to west and 7 miles from south to north and the properties used have been situated everywhere.

    We've confirmed the sale of a property from 1991 - which is in close proximity to the 4 properties used by the VOA. It measures 122m2 & is a 4 bed detached with a single garage. It fetched £74,000 in 1991.

    We've confirmed the sale of a 4 bed modern property with a single garage - in close proximity to one of the sales used by the VOA. It measures 117m2 & sold for £68,000 in 1991.

    The sales information shows that there was a minimum difference of £24,000 for an additional garage. Modern properties or large estate properties fetched £6,000 less than smaller estate developments or existing properties. Properties on infill plots achieved a minimum £10,000 more than estate developments.

    A new build 4 bed with a double garage measuring 149m2 was sold in 1991 for £104,000. If this property only had a single garage it would have been worth approx £80,000.

    A new build 4 bed with a single garage 133m2 sold in 1991 for £82,000.

    The staff at the local office & the SLO does not want to discuss the information!?!

    Most of the residents have been resident in their properties for over 6 months and their properties are not over 149m2 and do not have 2 garages.

    FOI - shows bandings of properties built in 2006 & up to 142m2 with single garages reduced from E to D in the absence of an appeal! VTS cases for similar properties under 142m2 have defended a band E!?

    Any ideas what the next move should be? TIA
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 11th Feb 18, 1:50 PM
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    lincroft1710
    ddks - An extra garage adding 30% to a house value seems unrealistic. As there are no details of your house and its current band, it is difficult to advise.

    I would suggest that a town that is 7 miles north to south must have a fair size population.
    • ddks
    • By ddks 11th Feb 18, 5:52 PM
    • 33 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    ddks
    ddks - An extra garage adding 30% to a house value seems unrealistic. As there are no details of your house and its current band, it is difficult to advise.

    I would suggest that a town that is 7 miles north to south must have a fair size population.
    Originally posted by lincroft1710
    The town was not that size in 1991 & it's made up of 2 towns. There has been a lot of development since 1991. But no changes in the locality.

    The residents are in properties ranging between 132m2 to 142m2 of varying types of detached single garages or single integral garages. All placed in a Band E

    Sales used:-
    4 bed 1 integral grg- Oct 90 -£95,000 - 130m2 - infill plot - built 1990
    4 bed " " - Jan 91 -£89,950 - 130m2 - " " - built 1970
    4 bed " " - Feb 91 £100,000 - 130m2 - " " - new 91
    4 bed " " - Feb 91 £110k - 131m2 - infill - additional single grg at rear - since reduced to band D - access to grg at rear fenced off - built 1988
    4 bed double grg - Feb 91 £100k - 128m2 - small estate - built 88
    4 bed double grg - Jul 91 £92k - 123m2 - large new estate - built 88
    4 bed double grg - Jan 92 £91k - 128m2 - small estate - same prop which sold in Feb 91 for £100k

    Factor in the missed sales:- 122m2 Aug 91 - 1 grg £74k a stones throw from the property sale in Feb 91 & Jan 92 - D

    117m2 in Sept 91 - 1 grg 68k on the same larger estate as the 123m2 property. - D

    Another sale 1970's built 150m2 in May 91 for £77,495 - D

    Compared to new builds on the larger estate that sold for £82k in 91 -133m2 - placed in band D - which have never been used!?

    Those reduced in the absence of an appeal from E to D 142m2 - they have been aware of since 2009 & remain unchanged with no improvement indicator. In a letter they acknowledged an inconsistency & did nothing further.

    Residents are told that they cannot compare their properties to those built & sold in 1991 on the original estate!

    Also established that there wasn't any difference between 1991 to 93 prices in the area

    We assume that there is no requirement for them to follow the law & make it up as they go along!
    Last edited by ddks; 11-02-2018 at 7:25 PM.
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 11th Feb 18, 7:43 PM
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    lincroft1710
    ddks - surprised the 131 sq m infill was reduced to Band D. Something unusual in 150 sq m house selling for £77,495, although there may be a good reason. Otherwise all the sales seem OK and prove their respective bands.

    There may seem to be no difference in 1991 and 1993 prices (which would be unusual for non new builds) but clearly a difference between 1991 and 1992.
    • ddks
    • By ddks 11th Feb 18, 8:55 PM
    • 33 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    ddks
    ddks - surprised the 131 sq m infill was reduced to Band D. Something unusual in 150 sq m house selling for £77,495, although there may be a good reason. Otherwise all the sales seem OK and prove their respective bands.

    There may seem to be no difference in 1991 and 1993 prices (which would be unusual for non new builds) but clearly a difference between 1991 and 1992.
    Originally posted by lincroft1710
    Exactly what we thought, the property was extended in 1988 - spoke with the current owner property was not adapted prior to their purchase. The adjacent property owns the land (access the grg at the rear, which has been fenced off) he has not restricted or stopped access.

    150m2 is a 1970 property was extended in 88/89 to create 4 bed,2 bathroom property- not dissimilar to the sale in Jan 91 also 1970s infill property extended prior to 91 to create a 4 bed, 2 bath property.

    Sale of the same 128m2 property in Feb91(100k)& again in Jan92(91k) shows 9k reduction over 11 months (818.18 per month)

    A property within spitting distance of that above 122m2 was sold in Aug 91 sold for 74k

    The sale in July 91 123m2 is the other end of town. On the same estate 117m2 (less than 12mths old) sold for 68k in Sept 91.

    We!!!8217;ve used the monthly reduction to work the figures back to April 91 - showed properties on one side of the town were 5k cheaper than the other side. Still shows a minimum difference of £22k+ between a property with a double garage as opposed to one with a single garage.

    Making no adjustments pushes the figure up to 24k & the same difference remained in 1993.

    Nothing unusual about the prices in this area, It!!!8217;s always been cheap as chips & there really is nothing here!

    Either way, the sale doesn!!!8217;t support either the 2k or 8k garage difference, whether you use the monthly difference or if you use the 8k drop from feb91 (100k) to July 91 (92k).

    The sale in Feb 91 of 110k has always been a more expensive road
    Last edited by ddks; 11-02-2018 at 9:20 PM.
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 12th Feb 18, 1:59 PM
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    lincroft1710
    If you disagree with the VOA evidence then I would suggest you list each property and mention every aspect which leads you to believe that that property is not a suitable comparison to yours or does not support the band.

    I would further suggest that for those with double garages, you check to see if they have any other features, i.e. ensuites, quality conservatories or significantly larger plots that would help explain the price difference.
    • ddks
    • By ddks 12th Feb 18, 3:25 PM
    • 33 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    ddks
    If you disagree with the VOA evidence then I would suggest you list each property and mention every aspect which leads you to believe that that property is not a suitable comparison to yours or does not support the band.

    I would further suggest that for those with double garages, you check to see if they have any other features, i.e. ensuites, quality conservatories or significantly larger plots that would help explain the price difference.
    Originally posted by lincroft1710
    All plots are practically the same size, none have conservatories, only one has no ensuite, which sold for 74k in Aug 91. 2 properties are on corner plots but overall the plot sizes are the same

    We have written in but don’t want to discuss the evidence! Even the SLO doesn’t want to discuss it!

    We’re basically have this information & nobody wants to explain how they’ve come to the conclusion why a 4 bed detached with a single garage should be in a Band E.

    We don’t know where to go from here
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 12th Feb 18, 5:47 PM
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    lincroft1710
    As this is going to Tribunal at some time, then that would be the time to dispute VOA evidence
    • ddks
    • By ddks 12th Feb 18, 6:39 PM
    • 33 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    ddks
    As this is going to Tribunal at some time, then that would be the time to dispute VOA evidence
    Originally posted by lincroft1710
    No tribunal, it’s just an informal band review. So will have no legal right to contest the decision.

    A neighbour went to Tribunal for a material reduction without this information and lost, their property was smaller, no court code against their property. They are concerned that they will remain in the higher Band.

    Not sure how they stand if the original banding was incorrect.
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 13th Feb 18, 1:44 PM
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    lincroft1710
    Sorry, from your posts earlier last year I thought this was going to Tribunal. Therefore if VOA don't want to discuss, there's little chance of this going anywhere.

    With regard to the neighbour, if they went to Tribunal and lost, that's it, no reduction.
    • ddks
    • By ddks 13th Feb 18, 7:45 PM
    • 33 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    ddks
    Sorry, from your posts earlier last year I thought this was going to Tribunal. Therefore if VOA don't want to discuss, there's little chance of this going anywhere.

    With regard to the neighbour, if they went to Tribunal and lost, that's it, no reduction.
    Originally posted by lincroft1710
    This is banding on a bigger sized 10m2 property, which has 3 reception rooms.
    So, without an explanation as to how the banding has been achieved that’s that then?
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 13th Feb 18, 8:05 PM
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    lincroft1710
    If there is no right of appeal to a Tribunal, the VOA can simply say they believe the current band is correct if they do not consider evidence provided proved otherwise. There is no legislation that says they have to explain themselves although I consider it unprofessional not to do so.

    A senior colleague said to me many years ago that the VOA were under no obligation to provide evidence to a Tribunal (although obviously it would be sensible to do so) but could just state that in their professional and considered opinion the disputed band was correct.
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