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How home improvements affect your Council Tax band

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Council Tax

Many homes in England and Wales are renovated and extended. In this blog, we explain what happens to your Council Tax band when you make changes to your home. We also explain what an improvement indicator means and what you need to consider when purchasing a new home.

The VOA follows strict laws around valuation. This means, legally, we cannot change the Council Tax band of a property that has been improved until it is sold, or there is a general revaluation of all domestic properties. This helps to make sure homeowners are not penalised for improving or maintaining their home.

Instead, we give the property an improvement indicator.

Improvement indicators show that major structural changes have been made to a property. This includes things like adding an extension or carrying out large-scale renovation work. We don’t consider redecorating to be a major change.

If we’ve added an improvement indicator to your home, it will be shown on the property information for your address when you search your postcode online.

Improvement indicators prompt a review of the Council Tax band once a property is sold.

The process

Improvement indicators are added to properties when we receive information. For example, your council will let us know when you have built an extension. Or we may become aware of property changes during the course of our work.

We follow a three-step process:

  1. We hold the details of any major changes made to a property on a digital system, and add an improvement indicator to the Council Tax band
  2. Once the property has been sold, the system prompts us to review its Council Tax band. This will only happen if an improvement indicator is in place
  3. When we review the property’s Council Tax band, we look at the changes that have been made

Council Tax bands cover a range of values, and often changes do not increase the value of a home enough to move it into a higher band.

In most cases, we only review the Council Tax band after a sale, so any changes to the band will only affect the property’s new owners. But there are some circumstances when we’ll review a property’s Council Tax band without a sale, such as when an annexe is created.

If you’ve purchased a property with an improvement indicator

If you’ve purchased an improved property in England and we increase its Council Tax band after a review, the new band will apply from the date we notify your local council. This is usually a few days after we complete our review. In Wales, the new band will apply from the date of purchase.


We welcome your comments about this blog below but cannot discuss individual cases. Please do not share any personal information. We will not be able to publish any comments that include personal details.

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  1. Comment by L Chantler posted on

    Please can I request the following information.

    1. How do you value new properties built post 2008

    2. How can you challenge when there are no similar properties in a 2 miles radius.


    • Replies to L Chantler>

      Comment by Valuation Office Agency posted on

      Good afternoon, all properties are banded according to our estimate of the value it would have achieved if it had existed and been sold on 1 April 1991 (in England) or 1 April 2003 (in Wales). We compare new-build property with similar property that sold at those dates, and with nearby property that is already banded.

      You need to provide evidence to support your reasons for wanting to challenge the band, even if a comparable property is more than 2 miles away. You need to tell us what makes you think the band is wrong – you can do so by visiting

  2. Comment by Kevin White posted on

    Many home improvements which used to require planning permission now do not, meaning that those ‘improvements’ which had previously been reported to the VOA by local authorities now go undeclared and, therefore, unreported. Does this mean that domestic houses recently ‘improved’ within current planning laws go undetected?

  3. Comment by Michael Chamberlain posted on

    VOA are informed by building control so if it was a legal extension under permitted development VOA should have been informed and an improvement indicator would show on the tax banding.


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