Martin Lewis issues 'big warning' after couple secures £7,000 rebate due to council tax band error

Martin Lewis issues 'big warning' after couple secures £7,000 rebate due to council tax band error

Martin Lewis interviewed Chancellor Jeremy Hunt

Patrick O'Donnell

By Patrick O'Donnell

Published: 16/01/2024

- 21:52

Updated: 17/01/2024

- 10:23

The host of The Martin Lewis Money Show Live broke down the savings that can be made by double-checking which council tax band your home is in

Martin Lewis is urging households to check their council tax band as soon as possible after a couple secured a rebate worth over £7,000.

Viewers of The Martin Lewis Money Show Live, Patrick and Heather from Norfolk assumed their council tax band was correct but after watching Mr Lewis’ programme decided to double check.

Using housing comparison websites, the couple were able to determine that similar sized properties were on a different band.

He explained: “Filled in the application. It’s not hard. It was successful. We did receive a rebate of £1,755.

Martin Lewis on The Martin Lewis Money Show Live

Martin Lewis reminded households to check whether they are in correct band


“Before we were in band E, which worked out to be about £245 a month. We’re now in band D and that’s about £200.”

However, Patrick and Heather were not the only ones to benefit as the council wrote to their neighbours who were also stuck in band E.

This led to other people in the area receiving a rebate with an elderly couple getting more than £7,000 back from the council.

The neighbour shared: “They’re actually going to physically give us £2,830.10 and not have to pay council tax for a year.”


Council tax bill in pictures

Taxpayers are struggling with the unsustainable burden of council tax


During tonight’s show, Mr Lewis reminded viewers to carry out a “Check and Challenge” as they could find themselves in a similar position.

Firstly, households should check if their council tax band is higher than similar homes, in terms of size and number of bedrooms, in their local area.

This can be done by using the band checker on the website for those living in England and Wales, while those in Scotland can use the Scottish Assessors website.

If someone finds out they are in higher band, the finance journalist recommends people in England carry out a valuation check and look back to see how much their house was worth in 1991.

Some 400,000 households are estimated to be in the wrong council tax band due to homes not being valuated since then, according to Mr Lewis.

Using online calculator tools, those checking their band can determine how much their home would be worth back in 1991 which will determine their right band.

However, Martin Lewis warned people to only do this if they have completed both checks.

He explained: “Big warning. The fact you’re in in a higher band than your neighbours may be because they’re all in too lower bands.

“If you don’t do the valuation check, you might not get your band lowered, you might get all their bands increased which does not make you popular."

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