Over the past couple of years there has been much coverage in the press about homeowners paying more than they should in council tax. The current council tax system was introduced back in 1991, and since that time they haven’t been reviewed. It was a system that was introduced quickly, which has meant that there has been room for error when your house was put into its current council tax band.
The good thing is that if you have been paying over the odds for your council tax you could be a due a rebate from 1993. In 2008 the Conservative party estimated that around 40,000 people were in the wrong category, however in 2009 the Telegraph suggested that over 130,000 were in the wrong category.
So how can you check?
The first thing to do is to ask your neighbours, if they are paying less than you then the chances are that you have been put into the wrong council tax category. You can check out your council tax bands of your road by going to this site http://www.voa.gov.uk/cti/InitS.asp?lcn=0. You will need to make sure that the other homes you are comparing your home to are comparable in size.
The next step if to find out how much your home was worth in 1991 when the council tax bands were defined. Various on line house property sites such as Zoopla will be able to give you historic information on the price of your home at that time.
You can also use the Nationwide House property valuation calculator.
Below is a table from the Valuation office agency which will enable you to see if your house was put in the correct band in 1991:
Band A Up to 40,000
Band B 40,001 to 52,000
Band C 52,001 to 68,000
Band D 68,001 to 88,000
Band E 88,001 to 120,000
Band F 120,001 to 160,000
Band G 160,001 to 320,000
Band H 320,001 and above
If you’ve checked with your neighbour and they are in a lower band and also the price of your house in 1991 was in the wrong band then you will probably have a good case. If you would like to challenge the banding of your home then please visit this website.