Page last updated at 21 June 2016 at 17:42
The Council have received an increasing number of enquiries from residents regarding agents that offer to appeal against the banding of your property in order to obtain a reduction in your Council Tax. Whilst many of these agents are legitimate, they will charge a fee for something which can just as easily be done by you free of charge.
The Valuation Office have produced advice which gives details on what to do if you disagree with your Council Tax banding or any other aspect of the entry for your property in the Council Tax Valuation List. Alternatively, you can contact the Valuation Office directly on 03000 501501. The Valuation Office website also contains advice on what to do if you believe an agent who has contacted you is not legitimate.
Council Tax Valuation Bands
Most dwellings are subject to the Council Tax. There is one charge per dwelling, whether it is a house, bungalow, flat, maisonette, mobile home or houseboat, owned or rented. Each dwelling has been allocated to one of eight bands according to its open market capital value at 1 April 1991:
A - Up to and including £40,000
B - £40,001 - £52,000
C - £52,001 - £68,000
D - £68,001 - £88,000
E - £88,001 - £120,000
F - £120,001 - £160,000
G - £160,001 - £320,000
H - More than £320,001
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The Valuation Office is an Executive Agency of the Inland Revenue; it carries out valuations for non-domestic (business) rating purposes, and banding for council tax on behalf of the Department of Communities and Local Government. You can telephone the Valuation Office on 03000 501501.
You can make a proposal (the first stage of the appeals process) to have the banding of your property changed within six months of becoming the Council Tax payer at that address. If you have been the Council Tax payer for more than six months you can only appeal if
1. You feel that the banding should be changed because there has been a material increase or a material reduction in the value of the property
Material increase: building works (extensions etc.) or other types of work which may increase the value of the property. Please note the Valuation Office will only revalue the property once it has been sold and therefore the current occupier will not be liable for any increase in Council Tax
Material reduction: demolition or conversion of any part of the dwelling, any change in the physical state of the local area or an adaption to make the dwelling suitable for someone with a physical disability. The Valuation Office will revalue the property as soon as possible in these cases.
2. If you start or stop using a part of the property as a business. In this case you may become liable to pay National Non Domestic Rates in addition to the Council Tax.
3. Where the Valuation Office has amended a banding in the list without having received a proposal from the Council Tax payer
You can also appeal if you believe your home should not be shown in the Valuation list, for example, if you feel it is not separate, self-contained accommodation.
You can also appeal if you think your property should be in the list and it is not, for example, if the property was previously used as a business and is now used as a home.
In all appeals against the banding of your property you must contact the local office of the Valuation Office Agency.
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Appeals Procedure (non-banding appeals)
You can appeal if you are:
• The person liable to pay the Council Tax.
• The person who would be liable if your property was not exempt from Council Tax.
• The owner of the dwelling.
You can make an appeal if you think:
• You are being sent Council Tax bills but are not the liable person.
• Your home should be an exempt dwelling.
• The amount of the bill is incorrect, for example if you think a discount should apply or if the Council has not reduced the bill after an application has been made for a disabled reduction.
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How to appeal
In the first instance, write to:
Revenues & Benefits Department,
Eastleigh Borough Council,
Upper Market Street,
You should fully explain the reasons for your appeal.
The Revenues Manager has two months to consider your appeal and make a decision. They will write to you with a full explanation.
If you still disagree with the council’s decision, or if you have not received a reply within the two months, you can make a further appeal to a Valuation Tribunal.
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If you are unhappy with a decision made by the Revenues Manager following an appeal, you can refer the matter to a Valuation Tribunal. The address of your local Tribunal can be found here.
The Tribunal will ask you to make your appeal in writing, stating which decision you are appealing against, why you disagree with the decision or it may be that the Council has not reached a decision. If you and the council agree, your appeal can be dealt with in writing.
Alternatively you can attend a hearing where both you and the council will be asked to present full details of the issue. You will be contacted, prior to the hearing, and advised of the date your appeal will be heard and you will be sent a leaflet detailing the tribunal procedures. A hearing will generally last no longer than a day.
This hearing will not cost you anything unless you decide to employ a solicitor or other person to present your case.
No decision will be made at the hearing, but you will be advised in writing of the decision made by the Tribunal.
If the Tribunal decides in your favour, the council will revise your bill and adjust your payments accordingly.
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