Thursday, 18 December 2014
If you make a valid proposal to the Valuation Office Agency, their listing officer must issue a decision notice about the matter within four months of receiving the proposal. There is a right of appeal against the decision notice to the Valuation Tribunal.
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An appeal is when you think a decision is wrong and you have a right in law to ask an independent tribunal to look at it.
By law, the Valuation Tribunal can look at appeals about
There are time limits for making some types of appeals.
Yes, you can come to any of our hearings. Full details of our hearings can be found on this website or you may contact your nearest tribunal office to ask about hearings that are coming up. Please note that if all of the appeals due to be heard at a particular hearing are settled prior to that day, then the hearing will be cancelled. You are therefore advised to contact us the day before the hearing, to check that it is still going to take place.
We also have some video clips on the website that show what a valuation tribunal hearing is like. To see the clips, please follow this link.
To appeal against your council tax band, you must first contact the Valuation Office Agency. The listing officer (LO) there deals with council tax matters and they will look into your case and may send you a form called a proposal to fill in. They will let you know of any time limits. By law, the LO must make a decision about your proposal within four months of receiving it and they will send you a notice of decision. If you disagree with this notice, you can then appeal to us and, if you decide to do so, you must contact us within three months of the date shown on the notice and you must include a copy of the notice with your appeal form. You can either submit an electronic appeal form by following this link or we can send you an appeal form.
No, you should continue to pay your council tax or rates bill. If the Valuation Tribunal decides your appeal in your favour, any overpayment you have made should be taken into account when your bill is re-calculated.
The Valuation Tribunal cannot receive an appeal from you direct under the current regulations. An appeal can only be made when you have made a proposal to the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) and they have disagreed with your proposal and sent you a notice of their decision. The VOA should have explained the various circumstances in which you can make a proposal. The VOA website www.voa.gov.uk shows when a proposal can be made and allows you to make a proposal online.
If you are not able to make a proposal, the VOA may treat your correspondence as an ‘enquiry’. You cannot appeal against their reply to your enquiry.
If you make a proposal and the VOA believes it is invalid (because it was made out of time, for instance), you can appeal to us against the VOA’s Invalidity Notice.
We are independent and have to be impartial so, although we can advise you about general procedure, we cannot advise you about whether you have a good case for making an appeal or whether or not your appeal would be successful. Each case is considered on its merits.
You may also find it helpful to visit the Listings and Decisions section of our website, where you could search for previous tribunal decisions on appeals like yours.
The ‘success rate’ for appeals heard at a hearing varies, but over all appeal types in 2012, about one in three people had their appeal allowed or part allowed.
First of all you must make a proposal to the Valuation Office Agency (VOA). You can make a proposal to the VOA within 6 months of becoming the owner or tenant of a residential property, or if the listing officer has altered the band of the property. You can also make a proposal at any time if you believe something physical has happened to your property or in the area which has reduced the value of your property. The VOA has 4 months to send you a decision notice and, if you disagree with it, you have 3 months to appeal to us.
For all council tax appeals and completion notice appeals you may be able make a late appeal. The VTE President may authorise an appeal to be accepted where he is satisfied that you missed the deadline for reasons beyond your control.
You can use a form on our website to apply at the time you fill in your appeal form. You must give your reasons for not making the appeal within the time limits. We will let everyone involved know the outcome.
For further information please follow this link to the Practice Statement: Extension of time limits.
You should note that this power does NOT allow the President to order the Valuation Office Agency to accept a council tax proposal that is made after the deadline.
We will let you know when we have received your appeal and send you a guide that explains the appeal process and how we can help. After we have listed your appeal for a particular hearing date, we will send you a notice of hearing and this will tell you when and where your appeal will be heard. We aim to give you 4-6 weeks notice of the hearing, but it could be less than that. The usual minimum notice is 14 days, although in some exceptional circumstances, for example if everyone agrees, it may be a shorter period.
If you cannot come to the hearing on the date we give you, you can ask us for another hearing date, or, if you ask us early enough, we can deal with the case without you being there.
About two weeks before your hearing date we will contact you to check whether you will be attending the hearing. Or we may send you a hearing reminder notice. If you get one of these notices you should complete and return it to us if you intend to go to the hearing. When we know how many people will be attending the hearing, we can give you an estimated start time for your appeal. Where possible we will try to take into account any preferences which you may have, but please note that this start time cannot be guaranteed, as it will depend on how long the previous cases on the day have taken.
We aim to list these appeals within five months of receiving them.
Normally we give you at least six weeks' notice of the hearing date, even though the regulations allow a minimum of 14 days' notice (or less, in urgent or exceptional circumstances).
Yes. You can write to us at any time before the hearing date if you decide not to pursue your appeal. This can be done electronically, by following this link.
Yes. You have one month to apply for your case to be opened again (reinstated), starting from the date you withdrew your appeal. You will need to provide reasons why your appeal should be reinstated. For further information, please follow this link to the Practice Statement: Applications for reinstatement following striking out and withdrawal and lifting of a bar.
If you agree your appeal within two weeks' of the hearing date, your appeal will be adjourned to allow you to complete and return the necessary paperwork. Please let us know as soon as possible if this is the case with your appeal.
Please note that if you do not complete and return the agreement paperwork and your appeal comes before another panel at a future date, your case may be struck out.
For further information please follow this link to the Practice Statement: Listed appeals where the parties have reached agreement.
If you want to come to the hearing, you need to prepare your case before the hearing date. Please try to provide as much evidence as possible to support your case.
You will be allowed to:
We expect you and the valuation officer or listing officer to have discussed beforehand any evidence that each of you will present at the hearing. It is best if both of you exchange your evidence before the day so that there are no surprises at the hearing, otherwise your case may need to be adjourned to a later date. For appeals against the 2010 rating list this exchange of evidence must take place for the hearing to proceed. Click here to see the Practice Statement Disclosure and Exchange
The other party’s evidence can appear fairly formal, but we do not expect people presenting their own case to give their evidence in the same way as them. However, you may find it helpful to prepare a written statement.
It will be useful if you can bring five copies of any documents that you want to present in evidence (a copy for each of the three members, the clerk and the other party). Anything else, which it is difficult to get copies of, such as photographs and large plans, can be shared on the day.
Before you made your appeal you would have had one or more reasons which convinced you that it was the right thing to do. it is those reasons that the panel will be interested in hearing about and you should provide evidence to support these reasons, rather than just opinion.
To provide evidence to support your opinion that your property is in the wrong band you may find it useful to look at the Valuation Office Agency website, www.voa.gov.uk, which shows the valuation list and the bands of other homes. Our guidance booklet gives more information of possible sources and our Council Tax Guidance Manual may also help. You can also see other Tribunal decisions on our website.
Please remember, however, that the Tribunal must remain impartial so any advice we give can only be general in nature: we cannot assist you with preparing your case. We are not able to give advice as to whether or not your appeal will be successful or specific details of evidence that might be persuasive in your case.
Yes, but to avoid delays and unnecessary public expense, please only ask for a postponement if it is really needed. We will only give you a new hearing date if you have tried to settle your case with the Valuation Office Agency or billing authority (council) and have a good reason for not being able to make the date we have given you. Before you contact us to ask for another date we will expect you to have told the valuation officer, listing officer or billing authority (council) that you consider a postponement of your case is required.
A request for a postponement should be made to the clerk of the tribunal, in writing (letter, email or fax), at least three days before the hearing date you have been given. You should give full reasons why you need the case to be postponed, say whether or not you have agreed this with the valuation officer, listing officer or billing authority (council). Please also tell us how long you need before you will be able to attend a hearing of your case.
Your request will be acknowledged. The clerk will consider the reasons for your request and before deciding whether to give it, they will also look at matters such as:
Please be aware that if the clerk agrees to a postponement, it may be some time before we can give you a new hearing date. If the clerk turns down your postponement request, they will let you know and suggest that, where possible, you or a representative should attend the tribunal hearing to ask the panel for an adjournment. An adjournment is a judicial decision, made by the panel members that an appeal should be heard at a later date. Please be aware that there is no guarantee that the panel will grant you an adjournment, so it is important that you are prepared and able to present your case at the hearing.
For further information, please follow this link to the Practice Statement on Postponements and Adjournments.
Appeal heard in absence.
This is where you are not at the hearing, but you submit a written case to the Tribunal to be considered at a hearing. However, if you want us to deal with your appeal in this way you must send a copy of your submission to us and to the other party. For all appeals except those against the 2010 rating list you must request the case to be heard in your absence and send your written submission at least 14 days before the hearing or your appeal may be struck out. For appeals against the 2010 rating list you must send your request and written submission in six weeks before the hearing date or your appeal may be struck out. The other party will be present at the hearing. Your submission must cover certain matters. For further information, please follow this link to the Practice Statement Appellant's non-attendance and for 2010 rating list appeals the Disclosure and Exchange Practice Statement.
The decision without a hearing procedure.
To use this procedure you, the other party and the VT must all have agreed to it. You and the other party will be asked to send us a copy of your cases within three weeks. We will send each of you a copy of the evidence we receive from the other party and you will have the right to make a written response within a further three weeks. A copy of any such responses will also be exchanged. The submissions and responses will then be put before a panel of members for them to consider. However, it is still possible that the panel may decide that more information is needed, or that it requires all the parties to attend a hearing. for further information please follow this link to the Practice Statement Decision without a Hearing.
A written submission should include the following:
If you want your case to be heard without your being there and your statement of case is for this use, you must ensure that it includes all the necessary evidence and arguments for the Tribunal to be able to deal with your appeal.
Our hearings are held in various types of buildings, such as hearing rooms in our own offices, other tribunals’ hearing rooms, halls, hotels and civic buildings. We try to ensure that the venues have good public transport links, parking and facilities, including disabled access. If you have any extra needs (relating to communication or mobility for example) please contact us in good time before the hearing In exceptional circumstances we may be able to arrange for a hearing to be held in your own home, or somewhere else that allows you full access. Please contact us to find out more about this or follow this link to our Practice Statement on Hearings in Private and Extraordinary Venue. If you are coming to a hearing and need a map and/or directions to the venue you can find these on the website.
We try to only select venues that comply with the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act, but if you have any extra needs, please tell us as soon as possible and we will do our best to help. This help could include, for example, assistance for your mobility, sight, hearing and communication (such as a signer). We will meet the costs of providing this help and also for providing a suitable place or any equipment that is necessary to hear your appeal.
If you are coming to a hearing to present your case and you have problems understanding English, we may be able to provide an interpreter. Please tell us as soon as possible if you need an interpreter and which language you speak. We will pay the costs of providing an interpreter at the hearing.
Our guidance leaflets are available in audio format. Click here to download them.
We will guide everyone through the hearing process and try to put them at ease. During the hearing we will ask you and the other party to give your cases. You will both be allowed to ask questions on any evidence that the other party has put forward and the panel members may ask questions if they are unclear about anything.
It is always helpful if you can come to the hearing so that you can answer any questions that we have. However, if you ask us to, we can also deal with your case without you being there.
Please note that if your appeal is against an invalidity notice, the panel will only consider whether or not your appeal has been validly made; it will not consider any of the reasons for your appeal. Should the panel decide that your appeal has been validly made, a new hearing date will be arranged, where the details and reasons for your appeal will be heard and considered.
We have some video clips on the website, which show what a valuation tribunal hearing is like. You can watch the clips online by clicking here.
We also have a booklet that gives more information about the hearing process. This is available on the online by clicking here and we will send you one when we tell you about the date we have arranged for your hearing.
If you are unhappy with the decision the panel has reached, you can appeal to the High Court. However, please note that you cannot appeal against a penalty notice decision.
You can only appeal to the High Court if you do not believe that the Valuation Tribunal correctly interpreted the law. You must make an appeal within four weeks of the date of the Tribunal’s decision. You may wish to take legal advice first, as the Administrative Court will charge a fee for making an appeal and costs can be awarded against the losing side.
You can get copies of the appeal form from:
The Administrative Court
Royal Courts of Justice
Phone: 020 7947 6000 www.justice.gov.uk
If you think that the Valuation Tribunal acted outside its powers in making the decision, or that it did not act correctly at the hearing, you can apply to the High Court for a judicial review. You may wish to take legal advice first, as fees will be charged for making an appeal and costs can be awarded against the losing side.
Yes. We will reply to any reasonable requests for help or advice. You are welcome to contact us by phone or e-mail. Details of how you can contact us are shown on our notices, or you can click here. As the Valuation Tribunal has to remain independent we can only advise you about general matters and we cannot tell you what evidence you have to present or whether you have a good case for appeal. You may get advice from:
You can find more information by looking at the Council Tax Guidance Manual, our guidance leaflets and our newsletter, which is called Valuation in Practice (VIP).
Valuation tribunal decisions made since November 2005 on council tax valuation and invalidity appeals can be seen here.
Anyone can visit our offices to look at copies of all of the decisions we have made during the last six years. Please telephone the relevant office to make an appointment.
You will also find information about council tax matters and a copy of the valuation list on the VOA website www.voa.gov.uk.
The Government website may also help you: www.gov.uk
We may not deal with what you want to know. Click here to see what we don’t do in connection with council tax and rating. Alternatively click on the Contact Us link to email your question to us.
Council Tax Guidance Manual
Click here to view our Council Tax Guidance Manual
Practice Statements (rules & procedures)
Click here to view Practice Statements that you should be aware of if you intend making an appeal to the Tribunal
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