Council Tax was introduced in 1993 as a replacement for the Community Charge (Poll Tax). It places every “dwelling” into one of eight valuation bands. You can read more about Dwellings and Council Tax Bands from the Menu links to the left.
The Assessor is responsible for the preparation and maintenance of the Council Tax Valuation List which requires that each property’s band reflects the Assessor’s opinion of its open market value as at 1 April 1991, but taking account of its physical state and its locality as at 1 April 1993 (or for new properties, when they enter the list).
Bands do not change during the currency of the list (there is no provision for revaluation) even if the owner carries out improvements. The one exception to this however is that the band will be revised if the property is sold after such improvements. New owners who find themselves in this position have a period in which to lodge a proposal (read more on Council Tax Proposals from the Menu links to the left).
The Assessor can only revise a band in such cases after the property has been sold. Therefore there may be a delay in new owners being advised that the band of the house they have purchased is affected. Existing owners however may have been advised that the band will be changed on any future sale. Prospective purchasers should ensure they obtain advice about a possible change to the published band in cases where eg a solicitor advises that a local authority completion certificate or letter of comfort is available or required for alterations carried out by the seller.
The Assessor is also required to change the band shown in the list if there is an error and it is found that the current band is not that which should have been shown. The list must also be changed if there is a “material reduction in value” (read more from the Council Tax Proposals link to the left).
There are further circumstances in which the band may be changed in relation to “part-residential” subjects where there is a domestic element in a non-domestic subject, such as a Guest House or Hotel etc. RVJB's Assessor will advise in relation to such cases.