Challenging your council tax band

Apparently, February is the month that many homeowners take issue with their council tax banding in the hope and expectation that it will result in lower – not higher – council tax bills 2022-23.

Anticipating this, the Valuation Office, who oversee these reviews, have issued guidance. In their opening to a news story published 4 February 2022, they said:

“If you’re thinking about challenging your Council Tax band because you think it’s too high there are a few things to consider, in order to make sure you don’t spend time on a challenge that won’t be successful.

“Legally, we can only review your Council Tax band if you provide certain types of evidence to show your banding is wrong, or if it meets certain criteria. This evidence might include the addresses of similar properties to yours that are in a different band, or evidence of house prices which similar properties to yours have sold at.

“We cannot undertake such a review without any supporting evidence being submitted.”

Other circumstances that may qualify your property for a review include:

  • If your property has changed – for example, it’s been demolished, split into multiple properties or multiple properties merged into one.
  • If your property’s use has changed – for example, part of your property is now used for business.
  • If your local area has changed – for example, a new supermarket has been built and has impacted the value of your property.
  • If you’ve been paying Council Tax on your property for less than six months.

The Valuation Office Agency were keen to point out that your Council Tax band (as well as that of your neighbours) could actually be increased following a review as opposed to decreasing.

It is worth noting that council tax bandings can not only be influenced by the location of a property, but also on the size and characteristics of the building. This may help to explain why a neighbouring property is in a different band.

The Valuation Office Agency is only responsible for banding properties and entering them in the Council Tax list. Your local council sets rates and collects Council Tax payments. Any queries regarding billing or rebates should be addressed to your local council.

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