Britons have the right to challenge the council tax band for their property if they think it is incorrect. Council tax bands are based on how much a home was worth on April 1, 1991, in England and Scotland, and on April 1, 2003, in Wales.
People in England and Wales can send in a challenge to the Valuation Office Agency (VOA).
Residents of Scotland will need to contact the Scottish Assessors’ Association to process their challenge.
The agency will usually be able to decide on the challenge themselves although in some cases they may not be able to.
Those making a challenge must give a reason for their claim and provide supporting evidence.
READ MORE: State pension set to rise next year but 520,000 people will miss out
The VOA will review a person’s band if they’re challenging it for any of these reasons:
- The property has changed, such as being demolished, split into multiple properties or merged into one
- The use of the property has changed
- The local area has changed, such as a new supermarket being built nearby
The VOA can also review a challenge if a person has been paying council tax on the property for less than six months.
Those with another reason who have been living in a property for six months or more can still challenge their band.
People can also provide evidence of how much a property sold from 1995 onwards, comparing the sale price to how much the properties were valued for council tax.
People must continue paying their council tax at the normal rate while the challenge is happening.
A person can appoint someone else to issue a challenge on their behalf.
A challenge can be filed online.
Those who cannot use the online service can call the VAO on:
England: 03000 501 501
Wales: 03000 505 505
Lines are open Monday to Friday from 9am to 4.30pm.
The VAO will let an applicant know once they have received the challenge.
It can take up to 28 days to check the evidence and the group will be in touch if more evidence is needed.
The review can take up to two months to be decided on.
People will be told if they can appeal the decision.
Those who have been paying council tax on a property for less than six months usually have the right to appeal.
People who have been paying council tax for six months or more can only appeal if the property has changed, it use has changed or the local area has changed.
They can also appeal if the property’s band has been changed by the VOA in the last six months.
Appeals must be lodged within three months of getting the decision, with a possibility to extend the time limit.
The Valuation Tribunal manages appeals in England while the Valuation Tribunal for Wales handles appeals in Wales.
People in Scotland will need to contact the Scottish Assessors’ Association to process their challenge.
This can be done via the association’s website, by making a proposal.
The proposal will be considered by the local assessor.
If the challenge cannot be dealt with in this way, it will be sent to the local Valuation Appeal Committee for a decision.