Warning to Residents about Council Tax Valuation

Residents are being warned not to be taken in by a company offering council tax rebates.

The trading standards service at East Riding of Yorkshire Council has had several reports of a company from outside the area which has been telling residents they are in the wrong council tax band.

A substantial refund is promised to residents by the company, which claims the tax banding has been wrong since 1993.

Complaints received by the trading standards service indicate the company are operating in a number of different ways which include putting leaflets through doors, handing them out in the street and sometimes telephoning people at home.

All the methods employed imply that many properties in the area have been overvalued and are thus entitled to have their council tax banding lowered and claim a refund on the overpaid tax.

Once a resident has indicated to the company that they are interested, the company arranges a personal visit which has a catch, property owners are told that in order for the refund to be claimed they must pay the company an up front fee of as much as £165 and agree to pay commission amounting to as much as a quarter of any refund to the company.

It is claimed that the up front fee is refundable in the event that the revaluation claim is unsuccessful. However, Trading Standards have had complaints from residents who have been unable to claim their money back.

Colin Briggs, trading standards manager for East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “Property owners who are approached unexpectedly over their council tax valuation must simply say no. By far the majority of properties are, despite the claims of this company, in the correct banding.

“If a taxpayer believes that they are in the wrong band, then all they have to do is contact the Valuation Office Agency and explain why they think it is incorrect.
If the VOA agrees that the band is incorrect, it will change it. There is no charge for this service.”

Anyone who requires further advice or wishes to report any similar activity within the East Riding Of Yorkshire is urged to contact Consumer Direct 08454 04 05 06.

To contact the Valuation Office Agency for the East Riding of Yorkshire area call 03000 503233 email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. or write to Valuation Office Agency, King William House, Market Place, Hull, HU1 1RT.