Legislation requires Councils to issue completion notices for new buildings and conversions in order to identify the day when the work remaining to be done could be completed, and it becomes a dwelling for Council Tax purposes.
(A new or altered dwelling does not require a completion notice once someone starts to live there).
Where the work on a property is not yet completed, the completion date will be the date that the Council considers the work will be substantially complete. It is then entered onto the Valuation List with effect from that date.
The process often involves site visits and the notice may be served up to three months in advance of the anticipated completion date with the billing authority forming an opinion as to how long any outstanding works should take.
You can help us to set the correct date by allowing an internal inspection of the property to see what works still need to be done.
It is not necessary for such works as final installation of sanitary fittings, kitchen units, central heating boiler, internal decorations, fences, paths, road works and footway to be finished in order for us to consider the property to be substantially complete.
The Valuation Officer will enter the property on to the valuation list with effect from the completion date provided to him by the Local Authority.
Disagreement with date
If you do not agree that the outstanding work can be completed by the date shown in the notice, you may appeal to a valuation tribunal. The completion notice will normally state the date by which you should appeal (within four weeks from the date the notice was sent).
Appeals should be made to the Lancashire Valuation Tribunal, but we recommend you contact us on 01200 414437 to discuss your concerns before submitting your appeal. It 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. Further information can be found at the Valuation Tribunal Services website.
Council Tax charge
If a new (or altered) dwelling is unoccupied (and substantially unfurnished), it is entitled to a 100% council tax discount for a period of up to six months. For example:
- A property is deemed to be completed on 1 May, and remains unoccupied/unfurnished until 1 December. From 1 May to 31 October it falls within the six month unoccupied/unfurnished exemption category, and there will be no council tax charge.
- From 1 November to 30 November the owner will be liable for the full charge.
- From 1 December the occupier will be liable for the full charge (subject to any possible council tax discount).