Challenging your Council Tax band

I think that my council tax band is wrong.

No matter where you live you are obliged to pay council tax. Whether you live in a small flat, a detached house or in a mansion you need to pay your monthly tax. How much you will need to pay will depend on how much the property was worth in 1991. The size of the property is often a good indicator of how much you will pay. One-bedroom flat falls typically into a band A and they go up to H which in 1991 cost over £320k. The Valuation Office Agency is expecting over 70 000 people to challenge their banding in upcoming months.

Call to action – check your council tax band and save hundreds!

Check your council tax band as you may be overpaying every month. From April 1 council tax is rising by 3% only fuelling the cost of living crisis. It will only take a few minutes to do these simple checks and the answer will give you a good indication of whether it is worth challenging your council tax band or not.


Check your neighbour’s council tax band, check the local area

You can do it through this website. Simply enter your postcode and select the address. Remember that the properties need to be comparable, meaning you can’t compare a detached house with a house of the same layout but divided into flats.
It is especially important to check the band when you are moving into a newly converted flat as you may accidentally be still paying council tax for the whole building.
If your property’s council tax band stands out and you suspect it is too high check how much it was worth in 1991 as that’s what the banding is based on.

Check the value of the property

If you purchased the property after 1991 you can check the value in one of many calculators available online.

Real-life scenario:

If you live in a one-bedroom flat and are in a band D then there’s a strong possibility that the property had been divided into flats after 1991 but the change has not been recorded and you are paying the council tax for the whole building. Do your research, gather all the evidence and challenge it to save even thousands a year.

Be prepared

If you challenge your council tax banding but your evidence isn’t strong enough, the result may not be in your favour. Remember that you are requesting a reassessment, so it may turn out that the outcome will surprise you and yours or your neighbours’ council tax band will be increased instead.

Over the years property may change the banding depending on the improvements being done. Things like extensions, conservatory, self-contained annexes may cause the council tax band to increase, and accordingly splitting the property, or it becoming derelict or becoming a business site can lower the council tax band.

If your council tax band is correct it is always worth checking if you are eligible for a council tax reduction. A full list of exemptions you can find here.