Preparing evidence for council tax banding appeals
A case worker from the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) will normally attend the hearing. They will present their evidence and argument as to why they think your banding is correct.
It is therefore important that you prepare thoroughly for your hearing. Gathering evidence to support your case can take time and effort.
We have a range of guidance that may assist you.
What to think about?
Council tax bands are based on property values as at 1st April 1991.
You should make sure that your case explains the issues that you and the VOA disagree about and the decision you want from the tribunal. The panel will consider evidence provided by both sides before they can decide the banding.
You should set out your arguments that support your case (including any legislation or case law) and enclose any evidence that you have to support this.
The VOA may refer to the tone of the list. Tone is the general level of bands which have been established in an area for a particular type of property. This is where a number of similar properties have bandings which, over time, have not been challenged or changed. A tone is also set when appeals on properties in the area have been settled or decided by the Tribunal.
Types of evidence you could provide (and where to find it)
1. Selling prices of similar properties sold on or near 1 April 1991.
It can be difficult to obtain this sales information.
However, if the VOA is relying on sales information as part of their case, you can ask them for the sales information on other properties where it exists.
2. Information of the bandings of other similar properties in your area.
The properties you choose should be of the same type, age, size and location.
This can be accessed via:
- Local estate agents and properties listed for sale on websites.
3. Copies of old newspapers showing details of properties for sale in 1991.
These can be found in some libraries. This is not sales evidence, but details of properties for sale.
4. Lists that show changes in property prices.
Your local bank, building society or local estate agents may have these.
5. Sales of properties information since April 1995 based on information from the Land Registry
6. Measurements of your property if size is not agreed.
This can include plans or architects’ drawings. Please note that the VOA use external measurements for houses and bungalows.
7. Past tribunal decisions regarding similar properties.
Previous decisions and case law lists
You may find it useful to look at previous tribunal decisions about other council tax appeals as these may give you an indication of what other appellants have used as evidence to argue their case.
There is also the Tribunal’s guidance and Consolidated Practice Statement, which may be relevant to your case.
If you intend to rely on case law, the case will not need to be included in full in your bundle of evidence submitted to the Tribunal if it appears on this case law list. However, you must include the relevant extract you intend to rely on, together with an explanation of how it assists your case.