What is a Completion Notice?
A Completion Notice is a document issued by a local authority when a newly constructed building (or existing building that has been merged/split) is complete for Council Tax purposes. This may be before a completion notice that is issued for planning or building control purposes.
The Completion Notice is issued in accordance with both Schedule 4 A of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 and Section 17 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992.
The information below is general guidance and is not a substitute for the relevant statutes and regulations.
We are required to decide a ‘completion day’ when a building is considered substantially complete. The completion day must also take into consideration work that is still to be finished and may be served up to three months in advance.
Taxation legislation does not provide a definition of 'complete' in respect of new properties. However, with reference to case law, it is taken to apply to a property that is weatherproofed (roof on and windows and doors fitted), plastered internally and having internal walls and stairs. It need not be connected to utilities, or to have a bathroom and kitchen plumbed and fitted.
It is reasonable for us to consider that a professional builder or building company has the resources to build a property, to a standard where a Completion Notice can be issued, faster than someone working on a self build project. This will be reflected in the completion date that we issue.
To ensure the accuracy of our Completion Notices, Council officers may visit and review properties that are being built or altered
If the property is complete, the Council will serve a Completion Notice on the owner. The 'owner’ is defined as ‘the person entitled to possession’.
A Completion Notice, in respect of Council Tax, means that from the date indicated 100% discount will be awarded for a maximum period of 1 month. This is providing the property remains unoccupied and unfurnished. Following the 1 month discount period, should the property remain unfurnished and unoccupied, a charge of 100% will be applied.
A new or altered property does not require a Completion Notice once someone starts to live there. If a property is occupied before a Completion Notice is served, the date used to enter onto the Council Tax List will be the date of occupation. The occupier will be liable to pay the Council Tax.
In the first instance, please contact us immediately telling us why you disagree with the date of completion. Once we have received your enquiry we will review our decision in the light of your comments. We may explain our decision to you, or ask you for further information. We will advise you of our final decision as soon as possible, to allow you sufficient time to appeal further if you wish. A revised Completion Notice will be issued if necessary.
The regulations state that if you disagree with a Completion Notice you should appeal to the Valuation Tribunal Service within 28 days of the date of service of the notice.
Your appeal must be made in writing stating the grounds for the appeal and should include a copy of the Completion Notice that has been issued to you.
If you are still not happy with the Council’s decision you can appeal direct to the independent Valuation Tribunal at:
Valuation Tribunal Office Doncaster
Telephone: 0300 123 2035
Fax: 01302 321447
If you have lodged an appeal you must still pay your Council Tax bill until the outcome of an appeal is known.
You can find more information about appealing your Completion Notice, including an online appeal form, on the Valuation Tribunals website