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We bought our house and during the process we checked the council tax banding with both the local authority council tax office and the previous owners of the property. They both confirmed the property was banded "D". Subsequently we have recieved a letter from the valuation officer advising us that because the previous owners had altered the property and converted one of the garages into a room and the house has now been sold to us they are able to re evaluate the council tax banding. As a consequence of this the banding has been changed from a "D" to an "E". When we contacted the valuation officer we were told that during the purchase process we should have been made aware that this legislation is in place and that there was a possiblily that the council tax banding could change because the house had been altered.

 

Apparantly both The Estate agent selling the property and our solicitor should both have made us aware of this, but they didn't. We are now in a possition where we are expected to pay a higher council tax and having spoken to our solicitor they have admitted that they did not know the legislation existed.

 

We have researched the local area for properties of a similar size as part of an appeal process that we can take with the valuation officer but we have found that banding they applied to our house is line with other properties.

 

We are very angry and want to know if this has happened to anyone else and if there is any action we can take appart from the appeal process. We feel we have been misled by the previous owners and have not recieved any advise about this legislation from our solicitor or the estate agent. Is this a clear case that we should have known about the legislation ourselves or are we right in thinking that either the pevious owners, solicitor or the estate agent should have informed us about the legislation.

 

Any advise appreciated.

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If you check the banding of any property online it should show that it will be subject to review on change of ownership, they certainly do for any I've looked at. If the vendor extended the property then it will most likely go up a band when it's sold. It's ridiculous for a solicitor doing conveyancing to claim they didn't know this was the case.

 

It's got nothing to do with the vendors or the estate agent. It is up to the buyer to do all necessary checks. In your case you instructed a professional to do that work for you and they came up short.

Edited by hightail
typos

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Here's the site for checking

Council Tax Valuation List

Choose your billing authority and check any address you like. If there is an 'i' for information next to the current band all you need to do is put your cursor over it and the information is there.

 

Anyone doing conveyancing for a living should know about the information held on an official .gov.uk site.

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Thank you for your replies, we will be writing to the solicitor pointing out their shortfall. Let you know how we get on.

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