Completion Notices

What is a completion notice?

A completion notice is a document that specifies the completion day of a property and is the day on which that property becomes a dwelling for Council Tax purposes. It is then entered into the valuation list with effect from that date.

In accordance with Section 17 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992, a completion notice is served on the owner of a property when the council considers a property to be complete, or the work remaining to be done on a new building can reasonably be expected to be completed within three months.

For the purpose of completion notices the 'owner' is defined as 'the person entitled to possession'.

What criteria do we use to decide a completion date?

To ensure the accuracy of our completion notices, council inspectors may visit and review dwellings that are being built or altered. Evidence, such as photographs, may be obtained to enable us to make the correct decision.

A property will be considered as being substantially complete when it meets the following criteria:

  • basic structure is complete, for example all external walls and roof are in place
  • internal walls are built
  • floors are laid

A notice will be issued even if the following works have not been completed:

  • fitting of bathroom and kitchen units
  • fitting of electrical plug points and switches
  • internal decoration of the property
  • connection of water, gas and electricity (although services should be laid to the site)

What is needed to call a property complete for Council Tax purposes is different from what is needed from Building Control. This means that if the Building Control team says the property is not complete it does not necessarily stop the council from serving a completion notice for Council Tax purposes.

It is important to remember that a completion notice may be served up to three months in advance of the day on which the council specifies that a property could be complete. Therefore, this does not necessarily mean the property is considered complete when you receive the notice (date of service); the important date to bear in mind is the date that the council is specifying as the date of completion.

What if a property is complete but unoccupied?

New properties, whether newly constructed or created by conversion, which are unoccupied and substantially unfurnished, receive a 100% Class C discount on their Council Tax for up to a maximum of three months. This period runs from the completion date given in the notice.

Following the expiry of the three months' exemption, the property will then be subject to the full charge.

What if I disagree with the completion notice?

The regulations specify that 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.

Their contact details are:

You can, however, write to the council initially if you wish; please ensure you set out the reasons why you disagree with the date of completion.

Once we have received your letter we may ask you for further information or we will advise you of our decision as soon as possible. A revised completion notice will be issued if necessary.

However, if you still disagree with our decision, you still have sufficient time to appeal to the Valuation Tribunal.

For further information, please contact Revenues:

Last updated on 22/06/2018

Contact the Revenues & Benefits team