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Council tax and completion notices for new builds

A completion notice is a document that specifies the completion date for newly built properties.γ€€It is the date the property becomes a dwelling for council tax purposes and is the date 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 three 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 three months from the date of service; this should reflect the additional time reasonably required to complete the work on the property.

To ensure the accuracy of our completion notices, the council's inspector will visit all properties that are being built or altered. Photographs will usually be taken and a checklist completed.

A property will be considered to have reached a stage of substantial completion when it meets the following criteria:

Shell and core

  • all external walls are complete
  • roof tiles are laid
  • ceilings are in place
  • floors have been laid
  • staircase(s) have been fitted
  • external doors fitted
  • windows fitted
  • permanent availability of gas/electric/water is laid up to the property (but not necessarily connected)

First fix

The position from foundation up to plastering:

  • cutting and laying of joists
  • erecting studwork and partitioning
  • fixing door linings
  • fixing window boards
  • assembling and erecting staircase(s)
  • plasterboards
  • fixing cable network around shell

Second fix

  • external doors
  • fixing of skirting, architraves and decorative mouldings
  • finishing off staircases and balustrade
  • installation of power points
  • boxing in - waste runs and sanitary ware
  • radiators and boilers
  • guttering and down pipes

To be considered ready for banding, the following work doesn't need to have been carried out:

  • internal decoration of the property, including the fitting of internal door
  • 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)

A completion notice for council tax is different to that for determining completion for Building Control. Legislation does not allow us to take financial or personal factors into consideration for the purposes of setting a completion date. The property need not be structurally complete by the completion date, only capable of completion.

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.

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.