Council tax appeal rejected as you’d lived in the property over 6 months?

Is your house in the wrong council tax band?

If you tried to get your council tax band lowered, but were rejected at the first attempt due to the ‘six month’ rule – I need your help.   I’ve just confirmed an appointment with the council tax minister Bob Neill MP to discuss this ludicrous rule and would love to hear your experiences.

This all started during a debate on Radio 2 back in September, on a day when the government confirmed it wouldn’t be relaunching a full scale revaluation of council tax (see Council tax appeal MSE News).

As council tax reclaiming has been a main stay subject on the site for years, this was a rather heated debate, during which he asked me to send in a letter as he wasn’t aware of the six month rule. I wrote within the hour…

Dear Mr Neill,

Following the discussion on the Radio 2 Vine programme today, you invited me to write to you about the issues raised over people struggling to appeal their council tax banding.

We are very concerned that 100,000s of houses are currently in the wrong band, as raised by Eric Pickles in 2008 when, as the Shadow Cabinet Communities and Local Government Secretary, he announced Labour was covering up the fact 400,000 people were in the wrong band.

The Government is now saying there will not be a wholesale revaluation in England, thus leaving people still in the same bands as in 1991, and if it was incorrect then, it is still incorrect now, leaving the many thousands in too high a band still paying too much.

Of the millions of people who’ve tried our check and challenge council tax system, many have evidence they are in too high a band.

Our concern is when they ask for a revaluation of their property, the vast majority are told they cannot do so, as there is a rule saying they can only appeal if they’ve been in their properties LESS than six months.

The only solution we have found to this is to suggest people challenge the integrity of the valuation list, which only the savvy and financially literate tend to pull off, leaving some, including many vulnerable people, left on the sidelines.

Therefore, as a full scale review isn’t going ahead, and we are left with valuations done in a rush back in 1991, we would ask that you please give everyone the right of easy appeal regardless of when they moved into their property.

I would be delighted to discuss this with you at your soonest convenience or send case studies to prove it (though I’m sure the VOA will confirm).

Yours sincerely
Martin Lewis

Your help needed

Now the appointment is booked for 15 November, and I’m very grateful to him for arranging it. 

If you’ve suffered the ‘6 month rejection’ please tell me briefly (a paragraph or two only) what happened to you, when and where, in the discussion links from this in the forum, even if you later managed to get it sorted. All real life experiences are useful to help push the unfairness of this.

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