Council Tax is an unavoidable part of life for most homeowners and occupiers of residential property. The process of challenging your Council Tax band can be complex and often time-consuming, which is where our specialists come in.

We have a team of expert rating consultants covering Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and the Bristol area who can work with you to advise on the following Council Tax matters:

  • Valuation and Council Tax banding
  • Council Tax liability
  • Long Term Empty premiums and second homes
  • Completion Notices
  • Exempt dwellings
  • Challenging your Council Tax band

You may be seeking advice on a residential property you own or one you are looking to acquire, demolish or redevelop; whatever your query, we are here to help.

Are you redeveloping or reconfiguring your residential property?

Let us guide you

The question of Council Tax liability during redevelopment works is discussed in a guidance document published by the Valuation Office Agency, entitled “Council Tax: domestic properties which are in disrepair or are derelict.”

If your property is undergoing substantial redevelopment works, with significant reconstruction making it impossible to live in any part of the property, it may be possible to have your Council Tax band deleted.

Our rating consultants have an excellent record of assisting owners and/or occupiers of residential property or developers looking to carry out extensive refurbishment or redevelopment works to an existing property. We have the expertise to submit the required supporting evidence to challenge your valuation, apply to have your Council Tax Band deleted and to negotiate with the Valuation Office Agency on your behalf – all to achieve the best possible savings.

Examples of this are: a residential property being stripped out and converted to multiple flats, flats becoming a single dwelling, or a residential property being redeveloped and converted to provide self-catering holiday accommodation.

Although no Council Tax will be payable if a band is deleted, when the property is next banded it will be treated as a new property. This means that all improvements will be reflected in the new banding from the date the work was complete. In some cases, the Billing Authority may issue a Completion Notice which informs the taxpayer and the Local Authority the date from which the property must be put in the Valuation List and Council Tax should be paid.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Council Tax?

Council Tax is essentially a tax on domestic property, such as a house, bungalow or flat, which is lived in as a home. You will usually have to pay Council Tax if you’re 18 or over and own or rent a property.

How is Council Tax calculated?

All properties are banded on the same basis, including properties bought under discount schemes. Council Tax bands in England are based on property values as at 1 April 1991, as follows:

  • Band A – up to £40,000
  • Band B – £40,001 to £52,000
  • Band C – £52,001 to £68,000
  • Band D – £68,001 to £88,000
  • Band E – £88,001 to £120,000
  • Band F – £120,001 to £160,000
  • Band G – £160,001 to £320,000
  • Band H – £320,001 and above
Are there any discounts available?

Discounts are available where adults are living alone or where a person is the only adult living in the property. You should get a 25% discount on your Council Tax bill if you live alone or if the other individuals living in your home are ‘disregarded’ for the purposes of Council Tax. To see whether you or a person living with you are ‘disregarded’ for the purposes of Council Tax, please follow this link:

If everyone living in your property is ‘disregarded’ you will get 50% off your Council Tax bill.

Do students pay council tax?

Properties occupied solely by full time students do not attract a Council Tax liability. If you do get a bill, you can apply for an exemption. Further details can be found here:

Why has my Council Tax band changed?

Your property may be revalued and your Council Tax band changed in some of the following circumstances:

  • You have bought a property and the previous owner made changes, such as an extension
  • You demolish part of the property and do not rebuild
  • You carry out works to the property, such as converting a single dwelling into multiple self-contained flats
  • You convert multiple flats to a single dwelling
  • You create two or more self-contained units, such as an annexe
  • If there are change to the local area

We have a team of experts who can advise on the changes made to your banding and challenge these, where appropriate.

Do I have to pay Council Tax on an empty property?

Yes, ordinarily you do have to pay Council Tax when a property is empty. However, your local council can, at their discretion, offer a discount.

If your property has been empty for two or more years, you can be charged a Council Tax ‘premium’. The level of premium charged depends how long your property has been empty; those that have been empty for ten years or more may attract a charge four times higher than usual.

Can I apply for a discount if my property is being refurbished?

Yes – you may get a discount if your property is undergoing major repair work or structural changes. Our consultants specialise in this and can liaise with your local council on your behalf to ensure you are paying council tax only when you should be.

Can I apply for a discount if my property is derelict?

Yes – if you think a derelict property should be removed from the Council Tax valuation list, you can challenge your Council Tax band. There are certain criteria which need to be met for a property to be defined as derelict. Our team of specialist consultants can advise you if your property meets the definition of a derelict property and can prepare the challenge and liaise with the Valuation Office Agency on your behalf.

Would you like to appeal your Council Tax valuation?

Let us Guide You

Council Tax bands are set based upon how much a property was worth on:

1 April 1991 (England and Scotland)

1 April 2003 (Wales)

It is possible to challenge your Council Tax band if you believe it to be incorrect. In order to challenge your Council Tax band, you must provide detailed reasoning accompanied by supporting evidence. The evidence must include the details of at least five comparable properties and be supported with historic house price data.

Our specialists can advise you if you are likely to succeed if you challenge your council tax band based on careful analysis of comparable evidence and house price data and, if appropriate, can prepare the challenge and liaise with the Valuation Office Agency on your behalf.

Recent Success

Ilfracombe Property Redevelopment

During redevelopment or reconfiguration works, it is likely your residential property may be impossible to occupy. We have recently successfully removed our client’s property from the Council Tax list, reducing their liability to £0 and ensuring they were not paying Council Tax whilst their property was out of use.

A sizeable property in Ilfracombe was being reconfigured and completely refurbished internally during its conversion from a residential house to a six-bedroom self-catering holiday property. We were of the opinion our client should not pay Council Tax whilst the property was being converted and could not be occupied.

Whilst the programme of works was ongoing, we submitted a detailed challenge document to the Valuation Office Agency to have the Council Tax band of the property deleted. In order to do so, we inspected the property and compiled extensive evidence which was put to the Valuation Office Agency along with a detailed written submission in support of the case.

The outcome was the successful removal of the property from the Council Tax list and the mitigation of our client’s liability.


Recent Success

House in disrepair, Launceston

If it can be proved that a property is in a state of severe disrepair, it may be possible to challenge and subsequently delete the Council Tax band. We have recently successfully done so on behalf of our client, reducing their liability to £0.

The property was purchased in a derelict state in 2018; the ratepayer, however, was being charged a premium as the marketing particulars suggested the property could be safely lived in and the Local Authority therefore deemed it to have been empty for over two years.

We inspected and photographed the property and provided the Valuation Office Agency with details of the property history along with a detailed submission relating to the nature and extent of the disrepair and detailing the works which would be necessary to make the property habitable once again. A challenge to the Council Tax band was submitted.

The outcome was the successful removal of the property from the Council Tax list and the mitigation of our client’s liability.

Recent Success

Derelict House, Launceston

Vickery Holman have recently succeeded in having a derelict residential property in Launceston removed from the Council Tax valuation list.

Our client purchased the empty property in 2018; it was structurally unsound and in need of significant refurbishment in order to make it safe to inhabit.

The local council did not consider the property to be derelict, but rather applied a 200% empty and unfurnished premium to our client’s bill.

We prepared a detailed case on behalf of our client which was submitted to the Valuation Office Agency on their behalf. This included photographic evidence, extensive professional correspondence detailing the extent of repairs required to the property and an itemised, costed schedule of works. 

Our extensive, well-evidenced submission resulted in an alteration to the Valuation List and the removal of the property during the period of the works.

Any questions? Call us

Our experienced team is ready to assist with unparalleled regional advice


Tel: 01872 245600


Tel: 01752 261811


Tel: 01392 203010


Tel: 0117 428 6555

The Team for Council Tax Valuation

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