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    • capstain411
    • By capstain411 10th Jan 19, 11:10 AM
    • 224Posts
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    capstain411
    Council tax rebranding with extension
    • #1
    • 10th Jan 19, 11:10 AM
    Council tax rebranding with extension 10th Jan 19 at 11:10 AM
    Hi all,

    Could not find a post which fits my situation, hence this new thread.

    I bought my property where i live in in 2011. There are 26 houses on the street, all graded band E except 4 ( including mine) banded F.

    My property had a extended reception which is why i assume when i bought the house it was in band F.

    Now the other 3 properties also had extension, but they were all extensive ones with extra bedroom over garage, making them 5 bed houses. My is still 3 bed with 3 receptions. While rest of the house will be classed as 3 bed with 2 receptions.

    I am not sure whether to proceed with revaluation.

    Your thoughts would be valuable.

    The property in 1991 was priced like all neigbours to be in band E. I am pretty sure the extension was done prior to 1991.
Page 1
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 10th Jan 19, 2:02 PM
    • 11,612 Posts
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    lincroft1710
    • #2
    • 10th Jan 19, 2:02 PM
    • #2
    • 10th Jan 19, 2:02 PM
    Because of the large difference between the top and bottom of Band F, it would be quite possible for all houses to be correctly in Band F. Depending on the area, it would also be possible for an unextended house to be towards the top of Band E, so an extension would push it into Band F.

    As you are well out of time to make a formal appeal, I would suggest you phone the VOA and just ask why is my house in Band F.
    • capstain411
    • By capstain411 11th Jan 19, 9:09 AM
    • 224 Posts
    • 41 Thanks
    capstain411
    • #3
    • 11th Jan 19, 9:09 AM
    • #3
    • 11th Jan 19, 9:09 AM
    Thank you Lincroft for your suggestion. I might need you expertise and wisdom as it looks like i am set on an impossible task.

    I called VOA this morning. The lady on the phone was very helpful.

    She compared 5 properties 3 with extension which are banded F and 2 properties with no extension. The lady said she did not have the liberty to specify reasons which they considered the property right opposite to me of the same size to be non-comparable.

    Now the point is all the houses were built by the same builder in 1965 and are near identical to each other.

    But VOA agent said their records indicate that mine was bigger and sale price in 1991 was higher hence in band f. AFAIK previous owners where the first occupants of the house in 1965 and sold it to me in 2011. There were no properties in my area with 1/4 mile sold in 1991

    I am not sure where to go next...she suggested me to check rightmove for size of property as their records indicate i have a bigger house.

    Can i please correct myself, i should not have referred to extension in my OP. The house i am comparing to which is one opposite to me are the original occupants from 1965 who have identical house with same size conversion of back of garage to living room ( like mine).

    Now how do i prove the price for mine in 1991 was in band E. The nearest sales was in 1996 for a comparable property banded lower than me.
    Last edited by capstain411; 11-01-2019 at 1:57 PM.
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 11th Jan 19, 2:20 PM
    • 11,612 Posts
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    lincroft1710
    • #4
    • 11th Jan 19, 2:20 PM
    • #4
    • 11th Jan 19, 2:20 PM
    As you say, it is a (virtually) impossible task. Pre 1994 house prices are not in the public domain and a Rightmove listing isn't guaranteed to have 100% accurate measurements.

    There is nothing to stop you measuring your extension yourself. VOA use external measurements so you will have measure round the outside. If not possible, measure internally and add 27 cm to the measurements for each external wall (not the wall where the extension joins the house) or just tell the VOA the internals and let them work it out.

    I would look at as many sale prices in the road as you can and see if there is a pattern
    • capstain411
    • By capstain411 11th Jan 19, 4:01 PM
    • 224 Posts
    • 41 Thanks
    capstain411
    • #5
    • 11th Jan 19, 4:01 PM
    • #5
    • 11th Jan 19, 4:01 PM
    I am following your advise in another post, about looking for newspaper ads from April 1991 for similar properties.

    My issue is not with measurements, my issue is how to prove the house opposite me, which is identical is banded lower then mine with rest of 21 properties, if there were no sales data.

    On phone VOA disagree that it is comparable. No reasons specified.But i think it is identical, google images and my observation while visiting every weekend points towards it. ( it is a elderly man who i take shopping every saturday, while i go to supermarket). Although in theory it might be that rest of 21 properties will be rebanded, but in reality, heavenly impossible.

    I however do not want to engage my neighbor in anyways to help me with rebanding.
    Last edited by capstain411; 11-01-2019 at 4:03 PM.
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 11th Jan 19, 6:43 PM
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    lincroft1710
    • #6
    • 11th Jan 19, 6:43 PM
    • #6
    • 11th Jan 19, 6:43 PM
    The VOA will have details of all the properties in the street, so if they claim yours is larger than the neighbour's, the only way you can counter this is by proving it isn't. You have said there were no 1991 sales, so you will have to look for property ads a few years either side of this date.

    In many cases bands were calculated on best guess as there was no compelling sales evidence. The bands have been established for over 25 years. so their argument will be just that, the bands are well established and have never been successfully challenged. Legislation actually prevents them revealing the evidence supporting a band, this is only possible when a valid appeal has been made.
    • capstain411
    • By capstain411 11th Jan 19, 8:09 PM
    • 224 Posts
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    capstain411
    • #7
    • 11th Jan 19, 8:09 PM
    • #7
    • 11th Jan 19, 8:09 PM
    Thank you again. Irony bites hard, my local library is being relocated due to council cuts, so cannot get archived 1991 data until March.

    Now I remember you referring to like for like comparison to gather evidence. As mentioned earlier, previous owners where 1st occupants of my house. Going through legal documents which my solicitor passed after sale, I found a copy of planning permission sought by builder. I am hoping this proves all the houses on my street were built innthe same year. This is true, but cannot think of what evidence to provide apart from planning permission drawings.

    Now I have downloaded 4 brochures of detached properties on sale or just sold. If I work out sq m....and I still have my house brochure, compare sq m to mine, will that be enough.

    The above two evidences prove period of build and size..the only weak link is sale price. But as mine is only one banded f and rest in E...questions will have to asked how that has been the conclusion.
    Last edited by capstain411; 11-01-2019 at 8:12 PM.
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 12th Jan 19, 3:48 PM
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    lincroft1710
    • #8
    • 12th Jan 19, 3:48 PM
    • #8
    • 12th Jan 19, 3:48 PM
    The VOA will know when the houses were built, they will have inspected them soon after construction. Trying to work out the Gross External Area (the measurement type used by VOA for houses and bungalows) will not be easy from EA particulars.

    You have already asked the question of why your home is Band F, when a very similar near neighbour is Band E and were basically told the houses were different size which you dispute. Using houses not in your road will give VOA the excuse "they're not comparable".

    I still maintain your best course is to prove that your house is no bigger than the neighbour's.
    • capstain411
    • By capstain411 12th Jan 19, 6:45 PM
    • 224 Posts
    • 41 Thanks
    capstain411
    • #9
    • 12th Jan 19, 6:45 PM
    • #9
    • 12th Jan 19, 6:45 PM
    Thank you very much Lincroft.

    Well as they say, if u look hard enough you can even find Nessie.

    I went on jog round the block today and ..I found 5 houses identical to mine ( same design)on the estate with closest 150 yards away. It is only after 9 years I realise the nuances in design of houses in my estate.

    One house had band changed from F to E in 1993. As this house was on market 3 years ago, I got 21 photos of layout which is same as mine.

    This house has conversion probably 10 sq meters less than mine, but conservatory probably 20 sq m in size which I don’t . That and house next door are both banded E. The other 3 do not have conversion or conservatory. So probably 20 sq meter smaller than mine.

    I have compiled photo eveidence for mine and used google maps sat images for 2nd.

    I think the evidence is irrefutable. Do I speak to them over phone as they might have the details or send then letter email.
    Last edited by capstain411; 12-01-2019 at 6:59 PM.
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 13th Jan 19, 2:07 PM
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    lincroft1710
    Phone them and only follow up with letter/e-mail if requested or they do not agree to reduction.
    • capstain411
    • By capstain411 14th Jan 19, 3:31 PM
    • 224 Posts
    • 41 Thanks
    capstain411
    Bag luck..i thought this was the end of it.

    VOA are saying conservatory although might increase the value of the property, for comparison and calculation of floor space, the conservatory will not make much of a difference.

    They say it does not matter if the identical property has a huge conservatory, if the brink and mortar part is smaller then mine, then it is not comparable. I think the property i referred to is 10 sq m smaller then mine.

    But being on quieter street, sells approx 5k more than my street.

    The agent asked me to request details of my property i.e. the data they hold for my property via subject to access request.
    Last edited by capstain411; 14-01-2019 at 4:17 PM.
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 14th Jan 19, 6:52 PM
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    lincroft1710
    They won't give in easily and although I agree a brick extension is generally more valuable than a conservatory, many conservatories these days are built to high standard permitting year round occupation. So IMHO a large conservatory could be worth similar to a small brick extension.

    Is the 5K addition, current pricing or 1991. If current, it is negligible, if 1991 do you have proof of this.

    Regarding the SAR nonsense, I would readily give a CT payer the info we held on their home, it is not a state secret.

    But these are my opinions and views, the VOA caseworker you are dealing with will probably disagree and is undoubtedly better placed to make a judgement.
    Last edited by lincroft1710; 14-01-2019 at 6:56 PM.
    • capstain411
    • By capstain411 22nd Jan 19, 4:01 PM
    • 224 Posts
    • 41 Thanks
    capstain411

    There is nothing to stop you measuring your extension yourself. VOA use external measurements so you will have measure round the outside. If not possible, measure internally and add 27 cm to the measurements for each external wall (not the wall where the extension joins the house) or just tell the VOA the internals and let them work it out.
    Originally posted by lincroft1710
    Hi Lincroft,

    I had email back from VOA stating the following

    "The details we hold for your property at 12, blah blah, West Midlands, BL13CT are as a three bedroom detached house at 165m2.

    Measurements are taken internally and bathrooms and halls are not taken into account."


    So do I then measure the rooms not hallway or landing to workout a figure, is that right.

    What about garage.

    I am assuming 165m2 is both floors combined. Using the property brochure for my house from purchase i worked the gross external area around 122m2....so surely if halls are not be accounted and only internal spaces that figures should be lot smaller then their records.

    Would you recommend a measurement calculator ( online) which comes closet to what VOA uses.

    Will they accept my measurements to get a inspector to visit or what more evidence would you suggest i submit. The comparison to identical property is secondary, if they have wrong floor space info based on which they have compared me to extended properties and banded me higher.

    Thank you in advance.
    Last edited by capstain411; 22-01-2019 at 4:03 PM.
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 22nd Jan 19, 4:24 PM
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    lincroft1710
    165 sq m internal on a 3 bed, excluding halls and bathroom???

    1. That is the wrong way of measuring a house, it should be to gross external (both floors are added together). I worked in or dealt with properties from at least 6 different VOA offices plus went on several courses and houses were always measured to Gross External. From memory, London offices may have used internal.

    2. 120 sq m on a gross external would be a good size 3 bed. 65 sq m would be more accurate for a 3 bed on internals.

    3. Garage should be excluded;

    I recommend getting back to them and querying their measurements and way of measuring.
    • capstain411
    • By capstain411 25th Feb 19, 5:59 PM
    • 224 Posts
    • 41 Thanks
    capstain411
    HI All/Lincroft,

    VOA looked at my evidence and still seems to believe Reduced covered area to be 165sq m. I will call them again. Will you kindly look at the image and give me your opinion on floor area. The have excluded garage. I simply cannot understand how they have calculated as it simply does not make sense.
    Last edited by capstain411; 26-02-2019 at 6:37 PM.
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 26th Feb 19, 2:00 PM
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    lincroft1710
    Taking room dimensions and adding for wall thicknesses, I roughly calculate the area at around 155/160 sq m, excluding garage. So their 165 sq m isn't that far out.
    • capstain411
    • By capstain411 26th Feb 19, 6:38 PM
    • 224 Posts
    • 41 Thanks
    capstain411
    That is that, I rest my case, no just eat, just baked beans tonight. Lincroft you are a legend
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