Council tax - bands and band reductions

 

 

Find the Band of a Property

The Valuation Office Agency values properties for the purpose of council tax. The amount of council tax you have to pay depends on the band of your property.

The Valuation Office Agency, part of Her Majesty’s Revenues and Customs, has put every home into one of eight valuation bands. The valuation is based on an estimate of what your home would have been worth on 1 April 1991.

BandProperty valuation (1 April 1991)
Band A Up to and including £40,000
Band B £40,001 - £52,000
Band C £52,001 - £68,000
Band D £68,001 - £88,000
Band E £88,001 - £120,000
Band F £120,001 - £160,000
Band G £160,001 - £320,000
Band H More than £320,000

 

Council tax bands and charges

To find the council tax bands and how much council tax charges are, please view the council tax banding rates and charges 2017 for properties in Cornwall.

You can also use the Valuation Office Website's Property Search to find the valuation band for a property.

Council Tax: new properties and completion notices

What is a completion notice?

A completion notice is a document that specifies the 'completion date' for newly built properties. It is the date on which the property becomes a dwelling for Council Tax purposes, and is the date it is entered into the valuation list.

The completion notice is issued in accordance with Schedule 4A of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 and Section 17 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992. 

Where a domestic property is structurally complete, or where the work remaining can reasonably be expected to be completed within 3 months, a completion notice will be served on the 'owner' of the property. The 'owner' is defined as 'the person entitled to possession'.

Where work on a property is not yet completed, the completion notice can be served specifying the final completion day of up to three months from the date of service, for the remaining works for completion of the property to be carried out.

What criteria do we use to decide a completion date?

To ensure the accuracy of our completion notices, council officers visit and review dwellings that are being built or altered. Evidence, such as photographs, is obtained to enable us make the right decision.

The council will consider a property to have reached a stage of substantial completion when it meets the following criteria:

  • The basic structure is complete, for example all external walls and roof in place
  • Internal walls are built (although not necessarily plastered)
  • Floors laid (although the screed or top coat of concrete need not have been laid)

Many properties will have reached an advanced level of completion where, for example, ceilings are in place, walls have been plastered and second fixing may have commenced.

In these circumstances the amount of time allowed in the notice for full completion of the property may be quite short.

In order to be considered and ready for banding, the following work does not need to have been carried out:

  • Internal decoration of the property, including the fitting of internal doors
  • Final fitting of bathroom and kitchen units
  • Final fitting of electrical fixtures, plug points and switches
  • Final connection of water, gas and electricity (although services should be laid on to the site)

The criteria for determining completion for Council Tax purposes are substantially different to that for determining completion for Building Control; therefore, whether building control certificates have been issued or not is not directly relevant.

A completion notice may be served up to three months in advance of the day on which the council specifies that a property is complete; therefore, whilst at the date when the notice is sent the property may well not be complete, the important date to bear in mind is the date that the council is specifying as the date of completion.

What if a property is complete but not occupied?

If the property is complete, the council will serve a completion notice on the owner as soon as is reasonably practicable. A completion notice cannot be backdated, even if the property has been completed for some time.

New properties, whether newly constructed or created by conversion, which are unoccupied and substantially unfurnished will be subject to a full charge when it is brought onto the Council Tax list.

What if the property becomes occupied?

A new or altered dwelling does not require a completion notice once someone starts to live there.  The date used to enter onto the Council Tax list will be the date of occupation.

What if I disagree with the completion notice?

The regulations specify that if you disagree with a completion notice you should appeal within 28 days of the date of service of the notice to the Valuation Tribunal Service. 

It must be made in writing stating the grounds for the appeal and should be accompanied by a copy of the completion notice that has been issued to you; however, you can contact us in the first instance setting out the reasons why you disagree with the date of completion.

Once we have received your enquiry we may ask for further information, and will advise you of our decision as soon as possible, to allow you sufficient time to appeal further if you wish. A revised completion notice will be issued, if necessary.

Appeals against the Banding of your Property

The valuation band of a property is determined by the Valuation Office (an agency of the Inland Revenue). If you wish to appeal against the banding you should contact the local Valuation Office (see contact details at the bottom of this page).

The grounds for appeal regarding the banding of your property are restricted to the following cases:

  • where you believe that the banding should be changed because there has been a material increase or decrease in the dwellings value.
  • where you start or stop using part of your dwelling to carry out a business, or the balance between domestic and business use changes.
  • Where the Valuation Officer has altered a list without a proposal having been made by a taxpayer

Where you become the taxpayer in respect of a dwelling for the first time. (Your appeal must be made within six months of the date you occupy your new property but, if the same appeal has already been considered and determined by a Valuation Tribunal, it cannot be made again);

If you cannot agree with the Listing Officer on the proposed change to the Valuation List you have a further right of appeal to the Cornwall Valuation Tribunal. The Council or the Listing Officer of the Valuation Office Agency can supply further details concerning the tribunal.

Material Increase/Decrease in value

A material increase may result from building, engineering or other work carried out on the dwelling. In these cases revaluation does not take place until after a sale – so the person appealing would usually be the new owner or resident.

A material reduction result from the demolition of any part of the dwelling, any change in the physical state of the local area or an adaptation to make the dwelling suitable for the use by someone with a physical disability. In these cases revaluation should take place as soon as possible.

Contact details

The Valuation Office
Council Tax West
Valuation Office Agency
Overline House
Blechynden Terrace
Southampton
SO15 1GW

Telephone: 03000 501501
Fax: 03000 502799
Email: ctwest@voa.gsi.gov.uk

The Valuation Tribunal
2nd Floor 
120 Leman Street
London
E1 8EU

Telephone: 0300 123 2035
Fax: 020 7481 4891
Email: vtwhitechapel@vts.gsi.gov.uk