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Council tax bands

Your council tax bill will depend on what council tax band your property is placed in. The options below explain how the bands are set, what you can do if you think your home is in the wrong band, and what happens if you’ve just built or moved into a newly built property.

We don’t decide which council tax band your home is in, as this is done by a government agency.

Your property will be in one of eight valuation bands A-H (see table below). The valuation bands were set in 1991 and they reflect what a property would have sold for on the open market in 1991.

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

If you think your home is in the wrong band, please don't report it to us.

What to do if you think your home is in the wrong band.

Band Property 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

The Valuation Office Agency are responsible for setting the Council Tax bands. They are separate from the Council. 

It can take up to 90 working days for the Valuation Office Agency to notify us of the banding of a property. We’re unable to tell you how much you will have to pay, whilst the property remains unbanded.

You are not required to make a payment whilst your property is unbanded. Once the banding has been decided, your installments could be considerably high. This s because, when we do issue your bill your council tax liability will be backdated. This may be to either

  • the date you purchased the property
  • the date you moved in

To help spread the costs, we can arrange for a provisional amount to be paid by direct debit. This is before the Council Tax band has been applied. Once the band has been confirmed, your remaining instalments will be recalculated. This will take into account any payments already made.

To discuss a provisional arrangement, please complete our online direct debit form. You can also telephone us on 0300 1234 171.

What is a completion notice?

A Council Tax completion notice is a document. It specifies the 'completion date' for newly built properties for Council Tax purposes.  The notice determines the date that a property will be entered into the Council Tax Valuation List. Completion notices are served on newly built properties which are empty and unoccupied. 

Completion notices are not served on newly built properties which are occupied or furnished.  Such properties will be entered into the Council Tax Valuation List from the date that they became furnished.

A completion notice will be served to the owner of the property where

  • a domestic property is structurally complete
  • the remaining works can reasonably be expected to be completed within 3 months

Completion notices cannot be backdated. They will always be served for a date in the future.

What criteria do we use to decide a completion date?

Council officers will visit and review dwellings that are being built or altered. This is to ensure the accuracy of our completion notices. Evidence will be obtained to enable us make the right decision. An example of evidence may be photographs. An internal inspection does not need to be carried out.

Cornwall Council will consider a property to have reached substantial completion when:

  • the basic structure is complete, for example all external walls and roof are in place.
  • internal walls are built (although not necessarily plastered)
  • floors are laid (although the screed or top coat of concrete need not be laid)

Many properties will have reached an advanced level of completion where for example:

  • ceilings are in place
  • walls have been plastered
  • second fixing may have commenced

In these circumstances the time allowed for completion may be quite short.

For a property to be considered 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. (Services should be laid on the site.)

Other factors will not be taken into account when serving a completion notice. These include:

  • Financial problems
  • Issues with resources (builders workload or problems with suppliers)
  • The time it will take to sell the property or find tenants.
  • If a Building Control completion notice has been served. Building control completion criteria is substantially different from Council Tax criteria purposes.

We will look to establish how long it should take to complete any remaining work - not how long it will take.

What if I disagree with the completion notice?

If you disagree with a completion notice you can appeal. This should be within 28 days of the date of service of the notice to the Valuation Tribunal Service.

Your appeal must be made in writing. It must state the grounds for the appeal. Your appeal 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.

When we have received your enquiry we may ask for further information. We will advise you of our decision as soon as possible.  A revised completion notice will be issued if necessary.