Completion Notices and Council Tax on new properties
If your property is being newly built or substantially altered, you do not have to pay Council Tax on it until the completion date. This is the date on which the property becomes a dwelling for Council Tax purposes and is entered into the Valuation List.
When we believe that the property is either structurally complete, or where the work remaining can be reasonably be expected to be completed within 3 months, we will issue a Completion Notice specifying the completion date for the property. We will serve a Completion Notice on the owner of the property (the person entitled to possession of it).
Deciding the completion date
To make sure that our Completion Notices are accurate, Council Officers regularly visit and review dwellings that are being built or altered. We may collect evidence such as photographs, to help us make our decision.
We consider a property to be substantially complete when it meets the following criteria:
- the basic structure is complete – for example, all external walls and roof are in place
- internal walls are build (although not necessarily plastered)
- floors are laid (although the screed or top coat of concrete need not have been laid)
- services such as gas, water, and electricity are laid on to the site
The following work does not have to have been carried out for a property to be considered ready for Council Tax banding:
- internal decoration, including the fitting of internal doors
- final fitting of bathroom and kitchen units
- final fitting of electrical fixtures, plug points and switches
- final connection of water, gas and electricity
Remember: A Completion Notice can be served up to 3 months before the completion date. You may receive a Completion Notice when the property is substantially complete, and we think that remaining works could be completed within 3 months. Please check the completion date on any notice you receive, before you decide whether to appeal against it.
How your Council Tax will be affected
Once your property is complete, it will be subject to a full Council Tax charge from the completion date. This is the date it is brought onto the Council Tax Valuation List. A Completion Notice cannot be backdated, even if the property has been completed for some time.
If the property becomes occupied before a Completion Notice is served, it will be entered onto the Council Tax Valuation List and the occupier will be liable to pay Council Tax from the date of occupation.
What to do if you disagree with the Completion Notice
If you disagree with a Completion Notice, you must appeal to the Valuation Tribunal Service within 28 days of when the notice was served. Your appeal must be in writing, stating the grounds for the appeal, and you must include a copy of the Completion Notice that has been issued to you.
If you are thinking about submitting an appeal, please contact us straight away. We will look at our decision again, and we may:
- explain it to you in more detail
- ask you for more information about why you disagree with it
- change our decision and send a revised Completion Notice
We will advise you of our new decision as soon as possible, to allow you enough time to submit an appeal to the Valuation Tribunal Service if you wish.
You can find out more about the Valuation Tribunal part of the appeal process, including contact details and an online appeal form, on the Valuation Tribunal Service website (link opens in new window).
Tel: 0300 300 8306
Please quote your Council Tax account reference if you have one – your account reference is 8 or 9 digits long and starts with a 4, 7 or 8.
You can also find out more in our Completion Notice factsheet (PDF 80.3KB) .