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Thinking of buying a property?

Some information and advice from the Valuation Office Agency

Home improvements are one of the key things most people do when they can find the time and resources.

Contrary to rumours, such improvements do not change the council tax band and householders will pay the same council tax as they would have without the renovations.

However, the council tax band may change if a relevant transaction takes place. A relevant transaction simply means that the house is sold as a freehold, or a lease for a period of seven years or more has been granted or there has been a 'right to buy' purchase. In these cases, the council tax band will be reviewed by the Valuation Office Agency taking into account all physical changes to the property since 1993, or since it was last sold.

Please note that transfers between spouses on divorce or an Inheritance Tax transfer of a share are not relevant transactions and do not, therefore, trigger a review of the appropriate Council Tax banding.

If you are a potential purchaser you should be aware of this review as it could affect the amount of council tax you pay following the purchase. If a higher band is warranted, the new band will be based on what the property would have been expected to sell for on 1 April 1991. This is because all properties are allocated a band based on the price it would have fetched had it been sold on the open market on 1 April 1991. The subsequent increase in the council tax will be effective from the date that the council tax valuation list, which contains the bandings of all homes, is altered.

You can view the electronic version of the council tax list on the Valuation Office Agency website at: www.voa.gov.uk

The council tax list marks all property that the VOA know has been improved and has a band review pending following a relevant transaction taking place with an (i) next to the property.

However, this does not necessarily mean that the band will increase, this depends on the extent of the alterations and whether the property falls towards the top or bottom of its current band.

If you are thinking about moving, you may wish to check the VOA council tax list to see if the property you are thinking about purchasing has a band review pending and if it does, contact your local Valuation Office Agency for advice.

Their address is-

The Listing Officer
Valuation Office Agency
Overline House,
Blechyndon Terrace
Southampton
SO15 1GW

Tel: 03000 501501

e-mail: ctwest@voa.gov.uk             

 Valuation Office Agency website

Updated: 19 Sep 2017
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