Council Rate Appeals

  johndrew 17:08 29 Apr 2009

One of my neighbours raised this with me.

She is contesting the band level of her property is classed as (a small one bedroom bungalow put in band C) but has been told she can only do this via the internet.

I have never heard of this rule and don`t believe it to be true. Has anyone any experience or knowledge of such a requirement?

Thanks for any advice in anticipation.

  interzone55 17:17 29 Apr 2009

That really would be down to your council. Have you got a link to their site so we can have a look at the rules.

Maybe your neighbour misunderstood, perhaps she was referred to the council's website for the relevant paperwork and assumed that the council operative meant that was the only route to appeal.

Can you perhaps print the forms for her, then she can fill them in and post them?

  BT 17:45 29 Apr 2009

Its worth doing if you think you are in too high a band.
I recently got over £1300 refunded from the Council where I USED to live in London. The new owners applied for a review and got the band reduced, and I got back all I had overpaid since Council Tax was introduced.

A word of warning though, if they find you are in too low a band you will end up paying more. So make sure of your facts before rocking the boat!

  Forum Editor 19:19 29 Apr 2009

if the 'only via the internet' thing was a fact. There are lots of people who don't have internet access, and I find it hard to believe that a local authority would make such a rule.

But then I've been surprised by local authority thinking before.

  Monoux 19:48 29 Apr 2009

The local authority does not set the band for your property - this is done by the Valuation Office ( which used to be part of the Inland Revenue ).
In some circumstances you can appeal your banding ( I assume fourm members link will give more detail - I can't get it to open )

If you can't agree with the Valuation office you can take your appeal to a Valuation Tribunal. This usually involves obtaining the banding of similar properties in your locality to provide evidence that yours is wrong.

In my experience the Valuation office will not admit defeat ( even if you have a strong case ) until the day before the hearing, in which case insist that the case gets heard by the VT as once the band is fixed the VO cannot try to change it again at a later date

  laurie53 20:28 29 Apr 2009

If the council indeed only transacts some of its core business via the internet then I suspect the Local Government Ombudsman might take an interest.

  johndrew 09:52 30 Apr 2009

Many thanks for yours opinions and link people. You tend to confirm my opinion about ONLY permitting a challenge to current banding by internet.

She has promised to provide the information given to her for me to study. Either she has got it round her neck or the Council is trying to pull the wool over her eyes.

I posted a challenge when I moved in here nine years ago and that was all by post. Worth noting they backed down after I said I was prepared to go to tribunal with my evidence (provided to them) and reduced my band. As BT says, such action is of value.

Many thanks again. I`ll post when I resolve the routing issue.

  kidsis 10:40 30 Apr 2009

many years ago I went to a Valuation Tribunal. I got a slight reduction so I guess honour was satisfied, but I ended up with the impression that I was considered a bit of a nuisance, can't think why! There were several of us who complained about how high the rates were (the properties were new, and we had all been told before moving in that the rates would be very affordable). I honestly don't know how councils think we can keep paying these massive amounts, the answer is not "well move then" because wherever you go there is council tax.

  johndrew 17:06 30 Apr 2009

Problem resolved. The letter she received referred her to the site. She has no internet connection so the information was `hidden` from her. I have scoured the site and downloaded the pamphlets for her. Unfortunately they are in PDF format and a dozen or so pages each.

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