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Council Tax

Council Tax Dwellings

In general terms any kind of house or flat will count as a dwelling if it used as such, including second homes that are not let out commercially. Caravans count as dwellings if they are someone’s main home. Certain properties in multiple occupation, where facilities are shared, may count as one or more dwellings depending on the detailed occupation arrangements.

The band reflects the Assessor’s opinion of open market value but subject to a number of important statutory assumptions (see link in the Menu opposite). Assessors base their opinion of value on the actual selling prices of similar properties which sold around the valuation date of 1 April 1991.

Prior to the introduction of Council Tax, and before the Community Charge (Poll Tax), Assessors were responsible for domestic property rating and maintained detailed databases of information about houses in their areas. This information included details of accommodation, floor areas, outbuildings, improvements etc as well as actual selling prices recorded in the Register of Sasines (Land Register). Although not every property was inspected prior to the introduction of Council Tax, Assessors’ records were comprehensive and were updated to reflect changes which had occurred during the four year “Poll Tax” era.

Assessors do not rely on house price indices to adjust sale prices over time. Unless the index takes account of the specific features of the local market conditions prevailing at the relevant dates, price adjustment in this way will be inaccurate. Assessors apply the Comparative Principle of Valuation. This relies on comparing the physical and geographic etc features of the property to be valued with those of houses which actually sold around the valuation date (1 April 1991).

The Assessor is not required to place an actual value on each property but has to demonstrate that its likely sale price would have been within the range of values in the relevant band. Due to the range of values in each band properties which are not identical in terms of accommodation or size can still be in the same band. Therefore a two or three bedroomed flat can easily be in the same Band as a similar semi detached or terraced house.

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