A few months ago I received a letter from a firm of solicitors informing me that my house was probably in too high a Council Tax band based, they said, on the fact that other properties in the road had recently had their tax band reduced.
They offered to take up the challenge for me at the very reasonable commission of some 36%
Not keen on going ahead with their somewhat less than generous offer, I did some checking on the interweb and found out that the original valuations, back in 1991, were referred to as the "second gear valuations" in as much as a local estate agent drove down the street in second gear and made an arbitrary guesstimate of the property values.
In my case, the property is one half of a semi-detached block and the two houses were identical in 1991, although next door was rated one band below.
Long story short, following a simple e-mail to VOA, outlining my observations, I received a cheque yesterday for several thousand pounds, being the excess CT paid over the last 16 years of our occupancy, and a notice of re-banding, saving me in the region of Â£220 per year in future
Only fly in the ointment is that, having regard to the work and improvements we've had done, the house will almost certainly be re-banded upwards if we ever sell it. Oh dear... isn't that upsetting?
I'm not saying that it will be that simple in every case but it might be worth a look at THIS website.
Thank you Messrs. Bainbridge-Simpson, for putting the idea in my head