Council tax bands can be out of date and could result in you paying hundreds of pounds more a year in council tax. Check your council tax band to make sure you're paying the right price.
No one wants to pay more council tax than necessary, so here's how to find out if you're in the right band, and how to claim back if you're owed money.
Council tax bands were set in 1991 based on house values at that time (2003 in Wales). Even new properties’ council tax rates are valued based on what they would have been worth in 1991/2003, the idea being this creates a level, fairer playing field.
But it also means that there’s room for error with properties – and whole areas - increasing and decreasing in value.
How can I check my council tax band?
You can find out what band you are just by typing in your post code at the Valuation Office Agency’s website. Scottish residents should use the Scottish Assessors’ Association website.
As well as clicking on your own address you’ll be able to select your neighbours’ addresses too – easier than popping round for a cup of sugar and an indiscreet ‘what’s your council tax band?’ for sure.
If they are on
a lower band but with a similar property size, type and standard of accommodation you may be able to make a claim.
How to appeal your council tax band:
First off call up your local valuation office (the website will direct you to the right telephone number based on your postcode search). It’s possible your issue can be managed then and there.
Note you can only make a formal appeal in writing to the VOA if one of the below circumstances applies:
* You have become the new council taxpayer for a property (make a proposal within six months of moving in).
* You live in a new build not listed.
* A VOA listing officer has sent a notice to say the entry for your property has altered and you disagree with new banding (you must appeal within six months).
* You live in a house that was previously separated into flats – ie a property that used to be separately banded but has now merged into one band.
* The value of a property has dropped – known as a ‘material reduction’ because either part of it has been demolished, it has been altered for disabled use or the surrounding area has substantially (and detrimentally) changed.
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