A completion notice sets out the “completion date” for newly-built properties. From this date, the owner of the property must pay council tax.
The owner will receive a notice when a property is structurally complete, or where the remaining work is expected to be finished within three months.
How a completion date is decided
Council officers visit and review homes that are being built or altered. Evidence, such as photographs, is gathered to help us make the right decision.
A property is substantially complete when:
- The basic structure is complete
- Internal walls are built, although not necessarily plastered
- Floors are laid, although the screed or top coat of concrete need not have been laid
If properties are very close to completion, the amount of time allowed in the notice to finish the property may be quite short.
To be ready for council tax banding, the following work doesn't need to have been carried out:
- Internal decoration
- Final fitting of bathroom and kitchen units, electrical fixtures, plug points and switches, and water, gas and electricity, although services should be laid on to the site
If a property is complete but not occupied
You don't have to pay council tax on new properties which are unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for the first month. After that, the full charge applies.
Right of appeal
If you disagree with a completion notice, you should appeal within 28 days to the independent Valuation Tribunal. Or you can write to us first, saying why you disagree with the completion date. We may ask for more information, or will tell you our decision as soon as possible, so you have enough time to appeal further, if you wish. A revised completion notice will be issued, if necessary.
Contact the Valuation Tribunal Service at:
2 Trafford Court,
Telephone: 0300 123 2035
Or visit the VTS website.