Every dwelling is placed in one of eight valuation bands (A-H), by the Valuation Office Agency VOA). This is based on the likely open market capital value as at 1 April 1991, bearing in mind certain assumptions, for example about the state of repair.

You may query the council tax band for your dwelling with the VOA at any time, free of charge. They will look again at whether they believe the band they have put your home in is correct. In some circumstances you may be able to make what is called ‘a proposal’ for a change. An example of when you can make a proposal to change the band is in the first six months after you buy a home.

If you make a valid proposal to the VOA, their listing officer must issue a decision notice about the matter. If you disagree with the decision, there is a right of appeal against the decision notice to the Valuation Tribunal. The Tribunal is completely independent of both the VOA and the council that collects the tax. The Tribunal will make a decision about the correct band for the property on the evidence that you and the listing officer present to it.

Please be cautious about people claiming to be able to reduce your council tax band for a fee. You can read more about this here.

The flow chart shows you the stages in making a council tax banding appeal and getting a Tribunal decision.  Click on any of the blue boxes to find out more.

 

Appeals against council tax banding (valuation) image map

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 the VOA’s decision notice, you can appeal to us. If you decide to do so, you must contact us within 3 months of the date shown on the notice and you must include a copy of the notice with your appeal form.

You must contact us within 3 months of the date you receive the notice and you must include a copy of the notice with your appeal form. You can either complete and submit a form online by following this link or download a form to complete offline by clicking here.  Or we can send you an appeal form if you contact us.

 

You can find more information by looking at our

You can also see decisions from 2011 onwards by searching our Decisions and Lists pages, here.

The Government website may also help you www.gov.uk

Please try to provide as much evidence as possible to support your case. You will be allowed to:

• give oral and written evidence;
• present anything that you believe will help your case, such as photographs or plans; and
• call witnesses.

The VOA’s evidence can appear fairly formal but we do not expect you to present your evidence in the same way as them.

You and the VOA listing officer should have discussed beforehand any evidence that each of you will present at the hearing. It is best for everyone if there are no surprises at the hearing, otherwise your case may need to be adjourned to a later date.

Any notice of hearing we send out after 1 April 2017 will include new standard directions. It is important that you read these with the guidance notes as they explain the exchange of evidence between you and the VOA listing officer.

 

 

 

 

 

You may want to continue talking to the VOA about their decision notice to see if you can reach a settlement with them. If you do reach an agreement, please let us know.

At least six weeks before the hearing, the VOA must send you a copy of their case including their arguments and evidence, with details of any sales prices of dwellings they consider to be comparable to yours.

At least four weeks before the hearing you must send to the VOA all the evidence you want the Tribunal to consider, including anything you want to say about the VOA’s evidence.

At least two weeks before the hearing the VOA will send their case and yours to the Tribunal and will send you a copy.

You could attend another hearing before yours to see what happens. Please contact us if you wish to do this.

Nearer the day, if we can, we will give you an idea of the time when your appeal might be heard.

 

You may decide not to carry on with your appeal at any time. If you do decide to withdraw your appeal, please let us know. You can use this form or email us.

You may –

• request a postponement if you have a good reason for not being able to attend on the day; or
• appoint a representative to present your case for you.

It is always better if you can come to the hearing so that you can answer any questions that the panel might have and so you can ask the other party questions. However, there are other options –

Appeal heard in absence procedure. This is when the appellant is not present at a hearing, but has submitted a written case to the Tribunal to be considered at a hearing where the other party will be present. The written evidence should be sent to the Tribunal and to all other parties 14 days in advance of the hearing date.

Decision without hearing procedure. In these cases, the parties have agreed that neither of them will be present at a hearing, and the Valuation Tribunal has agreed that this procedure can be used. The Tribunal will direct the parties to submit a written statement of case to the Tribunal and all other parties by a specified date. For more information, please read the Practice Statement, Decisions without a Hearing.

The hearing is as informal as possible and we will try to put everyone at ease, but these are judicial proceedings and a degree of formality is inevitable.

The panel will follow the Model Procedure set out in the Practice Statement.

The panel will decide who will put their case first, but if you would prefer to give your case first or second, please let us know.

During the hearing:
• the panel will ask you and the VOA’s representative to present your cases;
• you will be able to ask questions of the VOA’s representative;
• the VOA’s representative will be able to ask you questions; and
• the panel and the clerk can ask questions of you and the VOA’s representative.

Before the panel retires to make its decision, it will ask you if you would like to summarise your case (in other words, go over the main points of your case again).

The panel will make its decision based on the evidence and argument presented to it, bearing in mind what the law (legislation and case law) allows. The panel will retire at the end of the hearing to deliberate and will call the clerk in to provide legal advice and to help draft the reasons for the decision. However, the clerk takes no part in the making of the decision.

The Tribunal’s decision is not announced at the hearing. We send you a decision notice, usually within one month of the hearing.

What happens after you receive my appeal?

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.

Click here to download our guidance booklet

We set the date for your hearing and send you a Notice of Hearing

We may send you a Hearing Reminder Notice or we will contact you by phone/email

Council tax decision

Relevant legislation

Local Government Finance Act 1992 gives the general law.

Council Tax (Situation and Valuation of Dwellings) Regulations 1992, Statutory Instrument 1992 No 550 (as amended) gives details about the assumptions that have to be made when placing a property in a valuation band.

Council Tax (Alteration of Lists and Appeals) (England) Regulations 2009, Statutory Instrument 2009 No 2270, and
Valuation Tribunal for England (Council Tax and Rating Appeals) (Procedure) Regulations 2009, Statutory Instrument 2009 No 2269

These set out the rules under which we and the Valuation Office Agency have to deal with any council tax valuation appeals.

Please remember that some parts of this legislation have changed and there may be further changes. You will need to check that the legislation you use is up to date. Larger public and law libraries hold copies of legislation. You can also see legislation on the website www.legislation.gov.uk.

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 4 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 3 months of the date you received the notice. You must include a copy of the notice with your appeal form. You can complete and submit a form online by following this link or download a form here to complete offline. Or we can send you an appeal form if you contact us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 owner or tenant of a residential property, or if the listing officer has increased the band of the property. You can also make a proposal at any time if you believe something has happened 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.

The Valuation Tribunal cannot receive an appeal direct from you under the current regulations. An appeal can only be made when you have made a proposal to the VOA and they have disagreed with you and sent you a notice of their decision. The VOA should have explained the various circumstances in which you can make a proposal.

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.

The VOA listing officer cannot disclose information from ‘particulars delivered documents’ unless it is for the purposes of an appeal. Particulars delivered documents give sales details from stamp duty records and these are normally confidential. The information can only be disclosed once you have made an appeal.

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 try to provide evidence to support these reasons, rather than just opinion.

To provide evidence to support your opinion that you have been placed in the wrong band, you may find it useful to look at:

• the Government website, which shows the valuation list and the bands of other homes; and
• old local newspapers that can be found in libraries and show properties that were offered for sale.

Please note that the more comparable a property is to yours, in age, size, accommodation and location, then the better evidence it may provide.

The guidance booklet we send you also contains some information including a list of the relevant legislation that we have to follow. On our website we have these resources that may help you

• our Council Tax Guidance Manual;
Tribunal decisions on other council tax appeals.

With any notice of hearing we send you after 1 April 2017 you will receive standard directions which you must follow. These explain the exchange of evidence that takes place between you and the VOA listing officer. Please read the directions and the guidance.

 

We aim to list each council tax banding appeal to a hearing date that is within 6 months of our receiving it.

Normally we will give you at least 8 weeks’ notice of the hearing date, although the regulations allow a minimum of 14 days’ notice, or less in exceptional or urgent circumstances.

The VOA listing officer must send you their evidence at least 6 weeks before the hearing. This must include the sales evidence they are using to support the band.

You may then ask to see information about other properties that you believe will help your case.

If you want to respond to the VOA listing officer’s case or add more evidence to your case, you must send it to them at least 4 weeks before the hearing date.