What is a Completion Notice?
A Completion Notice is a document that specifies the “completion date” for newly built properties. It is the date on which the property becomes a dwelling for Council Tax purposes and is the date it is entered into the Valuation list.
The Completion Notice is issued in accordance with Schedule 4A of the Local Government Finance Act 1988
and Section 17 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992.
Where a domestic property is structurally complete, or where the work remaining can reasonably be expected
to be completed within 3 months, a Completion Notice will be served on the “owner” of the property. The “owner” is defined as “the person entitled to possession”.
The Completion Notice will specify the final completion day of up to three months from the date of service, for the remaining works for completion of the property to be carried out.
What criteria do we use to decide a completion date?
To ensure the accuracy of our Completion Notices, Council Officers visit and review dwellings that are being built or altered. Evidence, such as photographs, is obtained to enable us make the right decision.
The Council will consider a property to have reached a stage of substantial completion when it meets the following criteria:
- The basic structure is complete, for example all external walls and roof in place.
- Internal walls are built (although not necessarily plastered).
- Floors laid (although the screed or top coat of concrete need not have been laid).
Many properties will have reached an advanced level of completion where, for example, ceilings are in place, walls have been plastered and second fixing may have commenced.
In these circumstances the amount of time allowed in the notice for full completion of the property may be quite short.
In order to be considered and ready for banding, the following work does not need to have been carried out:
- Internal decoration of the property, 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 (although services should be laid on to the site).
The criteria for determining completion for Council Tax purposes are substantially different to that for determining completion for Building Control therefore whether building control certificates have been issued or not is not irectly relevant.
It is important to remember that a Completion Notice may be served up to three months in advance of the day on which the council specifies that a property is complete. Therefore, whilst at the date when the notice is sent the property may well not be complete, the important date to bear in mind is the date that the Council is specifying as the date of completion.
What if a property is complete but not occupied?
New properties, whether newly constructed or created by conversion, which are unoccupied and substantially unfurnished will be entitled to a Council Tax 100% discount for the 1st month, after which a full charge will become payable.
Is there a right of appeal?
The regulations specify that if you disagree with a completion notice you should appeal within 28 days of the date of service of the notice to the Valuation Tribunal, an independent body who make rulings on such matters.
You can, however, write to the Council in the first instance, setting out the reason(s) why you disagree with the date of completion.
Once the Council has received your letter, we may ask for further information or we will advise you of our decision as soon as possible, to allow you sufficient time to appeal further if you wish. A revised completion notice will be issued, if necessary.
The contact details for the Valuation Tribunal Serice are:
Letter: Valuation Tribunal, Hepworth House, 2 Trafford Court, Doncaster, DN1 1PN
Telephone: 0300 123 2035
Fax : 01302 321447