The Valuation Office Agency’s listing officer may issue an invalidity notice if they believe that a proposal made to them does not meet the requirements of the regulations in some way. They should tell you why they believe it is invalid.

You may appeal to the Valuation Tribunal against this notice and argue that your proposal is indeed valid. The banding (valuation) issue will not be considered at that time, only the question of whether your proposal was valid. If the Tribunal decides it is valid, the listing officer will have to look again at the banding.

The Tribunal is completely independent of the Valuation Office Agency and the council.

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

Appeals against invalidity notices image map

You can appeal to the independent Valuation Tribunal if you received the notice less than 4 weeks ago.

You can appeal within 4 weeks of receiving the invalidity notice. We will need a copy of the notice with your form. You can complete and submit an appeal online by clicking here, or you can download a form to complete offline by following this link.  Or we can send you a form if you contact us.

You will need to persuade the Tribunal panel that your proposal was indeed valid.  So for example if you believe you made it in time, you might provide proof of postage.

The following are the most common reasons for a proposal not being valid:

  • You made the proposal too late. For example, you made it after the legal time limit.
  • You did not fill in the proposal properly. For example, you did not give reasons why you believed that the banding was wrong or you did not give full information about a decision of the Valuation Tribunal or a higher court that you thought was relevant to your case.
  • You did not have the right to make a proposal. For example, you were not the occupier, owner or tenant of the appeal property when you made the proposal.

The Valuation Tribunal or a higher court has already considered an appeal on the same facts in relation to the same property.

You can find more information by looking at our

Council Tax Guidance Manual, and

guidance booklets. 

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.

You may find it useful to prepare a written statement, which can be handed to the panel. The VOA’s evidence can appear fairly formal but we do not expect you to present your evidence in the same way as the VOA.  It is useful if you can bring four copies of any documents you want to present in evidence (a copy for each of the panel members, the clerk and the VOA). We can share anything else, particularly photographs and large plans.

We send you a hearing notice, telling you where and on what date your appeal will be heard.

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. For more information, please read Practice Statement B3 Appellant’s Non-Attendance.
  • The 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 Practice Statement A6, Decision without a Hearing.

Please remember that at this hearing, the panel will only consider whether your appeal is valid. It will not look at whether the banding of your property is correct. If your appeal is found to be valid, the valuation issue will be considered at another 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 a procedure set out in a Practice Statement B1, Model Procedure.

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 to present your cases;

•         you will be able to ask the VOA questions;

•         the VOA will be able to ask you questions; and

•         the panel and the clerk can ask you and the VOA questions.

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.

When we receive your appeal we send you a Notice of Acknowledgement and a guidance booklet

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

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

We send you a Notice of Decision and a guidance booklet

Relevant legislation

Local Government 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.

The following are the most common reasons for a proposal not being valid:

  • You made the proposal too late. For example, you made it after the legal time limit.
  • You did not fill in the proposal properly. For example, you did not give reasons why you believed that the banding was wrong or you did not give full information about a decision of the Valuation Tribunal or a higher court that you thought was relevant to your case.
  • You did not have the right to make a proposal. For example, you were not the occupier, owner or tenant of the appeal property when you made the proposal.
  • The Valuation Tribunal or a higher court has already considered an appeal on the same facts in relation to the same property

To appeal against an invalidity notice, you must contact us within four weeks of receiving the notice from the Valuation Office Agency. You must do this in writing and you must include a copy of the invalidity notice. You can complete and submit a form online by this link or you may download an appeal form to complete offline by clicking here. Or we can send you one if you contact us.

We aim to list invalidity notice appeals to a hearing date that is within 4 months of the date we received the appeal.

Please note that in an appeal 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. If the panel decides 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 will guide all parties through the hearing process and try to put everyone 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.

 

 

You will need to satisfy the panel that the reason given by the VOA is wrong. For example, if the VOA said your proposal was out of time, you might be able to show proof of postage within the time limit.

You can find more information about making a valid council tax proposal by looking at section 5 of the Council Tax Guidance Manual.