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Council tax completion notices

Legislation states that where it is considered that a domestic property is structurally complete or that the work remaining can reasonably be expected to be completed within three months, a completion notice will be served on the owner of the property.

A completion notice will be issued per property to the owner. The owner is defined as 'the person entitled to possession'. The completion notice is a document that specifies the completion date, which is the date the property becomes a dwelling for council tax purposes, and is entered into the valuation list.

Sometimes an inspector from the Revenues & Benefits service will visit the property or properties in question, to establish how close to completion a property is. Information will also be sought from developers and owners of the properties.

Completion notice documents and information letters will be sent to the owner at their registered or home address. There is a legal requirement to reply to these requests for information.

How to appeal

In the first instance, contact the Council about the decision to issue a completion notice. If you disagree with the date the Council has decided, you can appeal to the Valuation Tribunal, who can determine a different date. You need to do this within four weeks of receiving the notice from the Brentwood Borough Council.

The President of the Valuation Tribunal has discretion to accept an appeal application made out of time but you must have a good reason for a late request. You should include a statement about why the application is made out of time when you submit the appeal form. You must appeal in writing and you must include a copy of the completion notice. You have to make a separate appeal for each completion notice that you receive.

You can also contact our billing team be emailing to discuss the Notice(s) to see if any disagreement can be resolved without the need to pursue a formal appeal. Any discussions with the Council will not affect the owner's right to appeal, though any formal appeal needs be raised within the 28 day deadline.

At the hearing, the valuation tribunal will be interested in the exact state the property was in when the council served the completion notice.

You can support your appeal by:

  • showing photographs
  • giving a list of the work that still needed to be done when you received the completion notice
  • telling the panel how many days you think it would have taken to finish when you received the completion notice

Does it cost anything to appeal?

The valuation tribunal provides a free service and we cannot award costs against you. However, you do have to meet your own costs in going to the tribunal hearing, including any loss of earnings, and the costs of anyone you choose to represent you.

Frequently asked questions

Q. Can a completion notice be backdated?
A. No. It can only be issued with either immediate effect or state a completion date up to three months in advance.

Q. How will the completion notice paperwork be issued?
A. By recorded delivery to the home address or registered address of the owner of the property.

Q. What happens if the property is up for sale and unoccupied on the date that the property enters the valuation list?
A. The property might be eligible for a 100% discount for up to 3 months where it is unoccupied and unfurnished. After 3 months, if the property remains unoccupied, a full charge of Council Tax will be payable. If the property remains unoccupied, a 50% premium will be added to the liability after two years.

What happens if I can't complete the building work by the completion date due to financial or personal reasons?
A. Legislation does not allow for the date of entry to be changed for any reason, whether financial or personal. The property doesn't need to be build complete by the completion date, only capable of completion.

If you disagree with the completion date when the paperwork is issued, you have the right to appeal within 28 days of the issue date of the completion notice to the valuation tribunal.