Each local authority maintains a list of all the domestic property in its area. Each property is given a valuation as at 6th April 1991. The valuations are banded and the bands are uniform throughout England. A different set of bands apply in Scotland.
English Council Tax Valuation Bands
Valuation Band Range of Values
The tax is charged as a levy per band. So band A might pay £800 p.a. while band D might pay £2,000 p.a.
Finding out the band
Look at the Council Tax Bill,
Look on-line at www.voa.gov.uk
Visit the local authority’s offices, where the list is kept for public inspection. Sometimes a list is also available in libraries.
• Property which is empty. In England this means substantially unfurnished and in Scotland it means completely unfurnished. The exemption applies for a maximum period of six months.
• Property which is vacant because it needs major repairs or alterations to make it habitable. The exemption applies for a maximum period of twelve months.
• Property where all the people living in it are students or are severely mentally impaired or a mixture of the two. (This may be a Hall of Residence or a house).
• Property in England that is a “granny flat” occupied by an individual who is a dependant relative of the owner of the main property.
• Property where all the people who live in it are under 18 years old.
• Property that is condemned.
• Property that is unoccupied because the owner has gone to care for another.
• Property that is unoccupied because the person who lived there has gone elsewhere to be cared for (e.g. hospital or care home or with relatives).
• Some caravans and boats.
• Some Housing Association property
• Property left unoccupied because it is difficult to let separately.
The liable person is liable to pay Council Tax. Usually a person living in the property will be the liable person, but sometimes it will be the owner even if he does not live at the property.
The owner will be liable even if he/she does not live at the property if:
• The property is in multiple occupation.
• The people in the property are all under 18 years old.
• The people in the property are asylum seekers and are not able to claim benefits including
Council Tax benefit.
• People who are staying there temporarily and have their main home elsewhere. If only one person lives at the property then he/she will be the liable person. If more than one there is a hierarchy of liability.
In England the hierarchy is:
1. A resident owner-occupier who owns either the leasehold or freehold of at least part of the property.
2. A resident tenant
3. A resident licensee
4. Any other resident e.g. a squatter
5. The owner, where no one is resident.
In Scotland the hierarchy is:
1. A resident who owns part or all of the property
2. A resident who is tenant of part or all of the property
3. A resident who is sub-tenant of part or all of the property
4. A Resident with no security of tenure
5. A non-resident owner of any part of the property unless there is a tenant or sub-tenant who has a lease or sub-lease of six months or more.
The Council Tax you pay may be reduced if you can benefit from the scheme for disabled people or Council Tax Benefit, or a range of discounts. A discount is available where there is only one
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