Council tax valuation bands are based on assessments of market prices of homes on April 1 1991, and therefore in 2012 the valuations are twenty one years out of date. When valuing properties, factors such as the age, size, character, and the area the property is located in are taken into account. About 23 million homes in England are banded for council tax. The initial council tax valuation process had to be carried out within a fairly short time span due the need to set up a replacement for the community charge. There were a number of well recognized shortcomings of the valuation procedure. For example in most cases valuations were made on the basis of visual inspection of the outside of the property, usually the front of the building. The work was sometimes done by estate agents and other professionals who had to work quickly to value homes for council tax. Sometimes properties were inspected without getting out of or even stopping the car ("second gear valuations"). Inspections of "beacon" properties were often used to infer the values of neighbouring homes. For some properties there was little information about the facilities inside homes or the state of internal repair. Therefore as well as being out of date, there may have been many homes that were placed in the wrong valuation band to start with. Trying to get your property rebanded however could result in it being put into a higher council tax band in some cases, particularly if you’ve added extensions such as a conservatory, or if the neighbourhood has been improved since the original banding took place. People thinking of appealing against the council tax band their home has been placed in should therefore do careful research. Although council tax valuations in England and Scotland date back to assessments of property values in April 1991, homes in Wales are banded on the basis of property values on April 1 2003. The new valuation list in Wales became operative on April 1 2005.
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