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Our call centre is currently receiving a high volume of calls with longer than usual waiting times. We advise customers to use the council tax enquiries form for the quickest response.

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Council Tax Bands

Tax Bands

Most rented or owned properties will have to pay Council Tax. This is paid per property. This includes a:

  • house,
  • bungalow,
  • flat,
  • maisonette,
  • mobile home or
  • houseboat.

Each property has been given one of 8 bands according to its open market capital value at 1st April 1991. The Listing Officer of the Valuation Office Agency, a department of HM Revenue and Customs, decided the value:

Council Tax bands
 Valuation Band Range of values
 A  Up to and including £40,000
 B  £40,001 - £52,000
 C  £52,001 - £68,000
 D  £68,001 - £88,000
 E  £88,001 - £120,000
 F  £120,001 - £160,000
 G  £160,001 - £320,000

 

Your council tax bill shows which band applies to your property. You can see a list showing the band of all properties in the borough at:

Council Tax Department,

Mulberry Place,

5 Clove Crescent,

London

E14 2BG

Any questions about the banding of your property should be go to the Valuation Office Agency

Exempt properties

Some homes are exempt, including properties occupied by:

  • only students,
  • diplomats,
  • only by people under 18 years old,
  • and only by severely mentally impaired people.
  • An annex or similar self-contained part of a property that is occupied by an elderly or disabled relative, of the residents living in the main part, may be treated as exempt from council tax.

Unoccupied properties

Unoccupied properties are exempt when they are:

  • owned by a body established for charitable purposes only (exempt for up to six months)
  • left empty by someone who has gone into prison
  • left empty by someone who has moved to receive personal care in a hospital or a home elsewhere. Or are left empty by someone who has moved in order to provide personal care to another person
  • left empty by students who would otherwise be liable to pay the charge for the empty period
  • waiting for probate or letters of administration to be granted (and for up to six months after)
  • have been repossessed
  • the responsibility of a bankrupt’s trustee
  • empty because their occupation is forbidden by law
  • waiting to be occupied by a minister of religion
  • homes annexed to another home that cannot be let separately
  • Forces’ barracks and married quarters are also exempt. Their occupants will contribute to the cost of local services through a special arrangement.

Empty properties

Discount

A 100% discount will apply to any property that is both unoccupied and unfurnished for a maximum period of one month.

This discount relates to the property as a whole regardless of any change in ownership. Therefore, any new owner will only be entitled to a discount for the balance of the one month period not already claimed by the previous owner.

Additional charge

An additional amount, called a levy, will be payable for properties that have been empty for more than two years.

Council Tax Reduction Scheme

If a person receives income support, they will normally pay no council tax. Other people on low incomes may have their bills reduced. See more information about the council tax reduction scheme

Discounts and reductions

The full council tax bill assumes that there are two or more adults living in a property. If only one adult lives in a property (as their main home), the council tax bill will be reduced by a quarter (25%). If a property is no one’s main home and is furnished, the full rate of Council Tax will apply. This full charge will also apply to second homes.

People in the following groups do not count towards the number of adults resident in a property:

  • full time students, student nurses, apprentices and youth training trainees
  • patients resident in hospital
  • people who are being looked after in care homes
  • people who are severely mentally impaired
  • staying in certain hostels or night shelters
  • 18 and 19 year olds who are at or have just left school
  • care workers working for low pay, usually for charities
  • people caring for someone with a disability who is not a spouse, partner or child under 18
  • members of visiting forces and certain international institutions
  • members of religious communities
  • people in prison (except those in prison for non-payment of council tax or a fine)

Annexes

A discount of 50% is available for annexes that are occupied by a family member.

Disabled persons

If you, or someone who lives with you, need:

  • a room or
  • an extra bathroom or
  • kitchen or
  • extra space in your property to meet special needs arising from a disability you may be entitled to a reduced council tax bill.

The bill may be reduced to that of a property in the band immediately below the band shown on the evaluation list. Residents of homes in band A are also eligible for this reduction. These reductions ensure that disabled people do not pay more council tax on account of space needed because of a disability.

If your bill shows that a discount has been allowed, you must tell the Council Tax Office if you are not entitled to the discount or of any change in circumstances which may affect your entitlement. If you fail to do so you may be required to pay a penalty.

Discretionary Discounts

The council has the power to reduce the amount of council tax in particular circumstances for short periods of time, such as flood or fire damage.

Appeals

If you think the council tax banding of your property is incorrect you can make an appeal to the Valuation Office Agency.

You may also appeal if you think that you are not liable to pay council tax, for example:

  • if you are not the resident or owner,
  • or because your property is exempt,
  • or that your local council tax office has made a mistake in calculating your bill.

If you wish to appeal on these grounds, you must first notify the council.

Making an appeal does not allow you to withhold payment of tax owing in the meantime.

Successful appeals

If your appeal is successful you will be entitled to a refund of any overpaid tax. You can get further details of the appeal procedures (including the role of the Valuation tribunals) from the Council Tax Office.