Council Tax completion notices
Find out what a completion notice is, when it is issued, what it means and how you can appeal.
About completion notices
A completion notice specifies the 'completion date' for newly built properties. It is the date:
- the property becomes a dwelling for Council Tax purposes
- it is entered into the valuation list
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'.
Where work on a property is not yet completed, the completion notice can be served specifying a final completion day up to 3 months from the date of service. This should reflect the new time reasonably required to complete the work on the property.
A completion notice is issued in accordance with both:
How we decide a completion notice
An inspector will visit and review any dwellings that are being built or altered. Evidence such as photographs will be obtained to enable us to make the right decision.
We 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.
To be considered 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)
Whether Building Control certificates have been issued or not is not directly relevant for Council Tax purposes because the criteria for determining completion are substantially different.
How property occupancy may affect a completion notice
There may be different completion notice situations depending on a property's occupancy:
If you disagree with a completion notice
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 Service.
The appeal must be made in writing, stating the grounds for the appeal and should be accompanied by a copy of the completion notice that has been issued to you.
Alongside this, you can contact us separately to set out the reasons why you disagree with the date of completion and provide additional information to support your case. If we agree, a revised completion notice will be issued, if necessary.
Council Tax is payable whilst any application or appeal is being considered.