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  4. Council tax completion notice

Council tax completion notice

We issue Completion Notices for newly built properties. It is the date the property is considered to become a dwelling for Council Tax purposes, and is entered into the Valuation list.

A completion notice is issued in accordance with Schedule 4A of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 and Section 17 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992.

We can serve a Completion Notice on the owner if:

  • a domestic property is structurally complete
  • remaining work can be reasonably completed within three months (the notice will have a date specifying completion day as three months from the date of the notice)  

Deciding a completion date

Council officers will visit and review properties that are being built or significantly altered. We will use evidence, for example photographs, to help make the right decision. We consider a property to have reached a stage of substantial completion when:

  • the basic structure is complete with external walls and roof in place
  • internal walls are built (not necessarily plastered)
  • internal staircase built
  • floors are laid, although the screed or top coat of concrete may not have been laid
  • electric and Plumbing works are at least partly installed, though not necessarily complete

If the property is nearly complete, for example walls are plastered and second fixing started, the amount of time allowed in the notice for full completion may be shorter than three months.

The criteria set are based on the state of the property alone and no allowance is given for small or large projects.

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 have been laid on to the site)
  • landscaping

Building Control completion

The criteria for determining completion for Council Tax purposes are very different to completion for Building Control. It is not relevant whether building control certificates have been issued or not. 

Paying Council Tax

The completion notice cannot be backdated, even if the property has been completed for some time. We will serve a Completion Notice on a complete property whether it is occupied or not. New properties, whether newly constructed or created by a conversion, which are unoccupied may be entitled to a reduction.

The date used to enter onto the Council Tax list will be the date of occupation. The occupier will then be liable to pay the Council Tax. 

Appeals

Contact us with the reasons why you disagree with the date of completion. Once we have received your enquiry we will review the decision.  We may explain our decision to you, or ask you for further information about why you disagree with the decision. A revised completion notice will be issued if the review decides another date would be appropriate. 

If you still 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 be accompanied by a copy of the completion notice that has been issued to you.

The Valuation Tribunal
2nd Floor
120 Lehman Street
London
E1 1DU

Email vtwhitechapel@vts.gsi.gov.uk or call 0207 4263939. 

If you have lodged an appeal you must still pay your Council Tax bill until the outcome of the appeal is known. You can find out more information regarding appealing a completion notice on the Valuation Tribunals website