CT house image

Council Tax

Recent changes

The Scottish Government has made changes that affect payments in the highest Council Tax Bands E to H. These changes will be implemented and collected by your local council.

In addition, the three Ayrshire Councils are increasing Council Tax charges across all bands by 3%.

These changes do not mean the band placed on your property has been altered by the local Assessor.

Moving into a new build house

If you are moving into a new build house please contact your local Assessor to arrange for your property to be banded.

Purchased or about to purchase a property

If you have or are about to purchase a property which has been subject to alteration or extension prior to your purchase it may affect the banding placed on the property. You can check with the local assessor if there have been alterations to the property and if this may affect the band.

Council Tax Bands in Scotland

 Range of values (at 1 April 1991) Band % Relationship to Band D. Since the Scottish Government introduced the additional charge for Band E to H properties
 Not more than £27,000  A  66.67
 £27,001 - £35,000  B  77.78
 £35,001 - £45,000  C  88.89
 £45,001 - £58,000  D  100
 £58,001 - £80,000  E  131.39
 £80,001 - £106,000  F  162.5
 £106,001 - £212,000  G  195.83
 More than £212,000  H  245

Further information

On 1st April 1993, the Council Tax replaced the community charge (or "poll tax") as the way householders contribute to the cost of local services. This section explains how properties are valued in Scotland, and how you can appeal against your valuation.

What is a Valuation Band?

Each dwelling is placed on a Valuation List in one of eight Valuation Bands, ranging from A to H as set out in law. The responsibility for compiling the valuation list for your area lies with the local Assessor.

How are dwellings banded?

The local Assessor decides which Valuation Band should apply to each dwelling in the area. Valuations are based on the amount which dwellings might have reasonably been expected to realise in the open market, subject to certain "valuation assumptions" (see section ‘What are Valuation Assumptions")- if sold on 1 April 1991. This will be the same regardless of whether houses are owner-occupied or rented. The assumptions of a fixed date allows values to be estimated relative to others in the area on a consistent basis and applies to properties built after the date as well as those in existence on it. In the case of properties completed after 1st April 1991, the Assessor will place them in bands by estimating what the market value would have been as at 1st April 1991. Any general movement of house prices either up or down since 1991 will not affect the banding of individual houses. It is important to remember that valuation for the Council Tax requires the allocation of dwellings to a band, not the estimation of specific values. The Valuation Lists will show only the valuation band for each dwelling.

Where a property contains both commercial and domestic parts (for example, a shop with a flat above) only the domestic part will be taken into account in determining the valuation banding for council tax purposes. The commercial part will determine the rateable value on which non-domestic rates are levied.

How is the Council Tax bill worked out?

The Council Tax bill for any dwelling will depend on the Valuation Band in which the dwelling is placed, the tax levels set by the Scottish Government and local authorities for the area and the personal circumstances of the people normally living there.

What counts as a dwelling?

In the first instance, it is for the Assessor to decide whether or not a property is a dwelling, but in general any kind of house or flat will count as a dwelling if used as such. A property that is not a dwelling will be regarded as non-domestic and will be subject to non-domestic rates. Certain properties may, however, be regarded as part residential, so that the part used as a residence will constitute the dwelling. For example, if a property comprises a residential home with a flat above, only the flat constitutes a dwelling. The residential home would be subject to non-domestic rates. Caravans are regarded as dwellings if they are someone's main home.

When did Valuation Banding take place?

The timetable under which Assessors had to complete the initial banding of dwellings is set out in law. Final valuation lists came into force on 1st April 1993 and took account of the physical state of the property and its locality at that date. THERE HAS NOT BEEN A COUNCIL TAX REVALUATION.

Will the assessor need to obtain information about my property?

The Assessor may send you a notice requesting information about your property and will explain why the information is required. If you do not reply within 21 days you may face a penalty.

Will the assessor require access to my property

Generally, for all new houses or houses where alterations have been carried out, the Assessor, or a member of her staff, will require access to inspect your property. In most cases, where houses have not been altered in recent years the Assessor will not require access to your property. If the Assessor does require access, you will be contacted by a member of her staff on a site visit or, if unsuitable, you may arrange a suitable time which will be convenient for you. If you delay or obstruct the Assessor in carrying out the survey of your property you may face a penalty.

What are the Valuation assumptions

In order to place all valuations on a common footing, a number of assumptions must be made. The assumptions are set out in law. The definition of value is the amount which dwellings might reasonably have been expected to realise if sold on the open market by a willing seller on 1st April 1991. The assumptions which apply to valuation include:

  • the sale was with vacant possession
  • the dwelling was in a state of reasonable repair
  • the size and layout of the dwelling and the physical state of the locality were the same as at the time when the valuation of the dwelling is made
  • the dwelling was sold free from any heritable security
  • use of the dwelling would be permanently restricted to use as a private dwelling; AND
  • the dwelling had no development value other than that attributable to permitted development.

For these reasons, the banding of a house might not reflect its actual sale price in 1991 if, for example, it was actually sold to a sitting tenant (so not on the open market) or it was sold for a high price conditional on planning permission being granted for the building of an additional house within its feu.

Special provisions for farm houses

Farm houses, farm cottages, croft houses and houses connected with fish farms are all subject to special provisions. If they are occupied in connection with the farm, croft or fish farm then they will be valued on the basis that their availability is restricted to being used in that way. The intention of these provisions is to recognise that the market for such houses will be restricted.

Special arrangements for houses adapted for people with physical disabilities

Any special fixtures designed to make your home suitable for a person with a physical disability and which add to its value should have been disregarded when the Assessor valued the property. This means that your home would have been valued as if the special fixtures were not there, so that your home is not placed in a higher band because of them.

There is a separate scheme of relief for people with disabilities who are the Council Tax payer, and you can contact the Finance Department of your local authority for further details.

What happens where prices have risen or fallen since 1 April 1991

Because the council tax banding has been based on property prices at 1st April 1991, any increase or fall in the value of a dwelling resulting from any general change in the housing market will not be taken into account.

How can I find out the Valuation Band of my house

From 1st April 1993 you will have been able to see a valuation list showing the band for each house. This is available at your local council's principal office. You can also see you council tax band on this site - see our search page. Neither the Assessor nor your council have an obligation to notify you of your banding. Until the next revaluation (as yet no date has been fixed) the banding of each property will be included in the information given in the council tax bill for that property. If you think your property has been placed in the wrong valuation band you should contact your local Assessor.

Can Valuation Bands change at all?

There are no plans to revalue everyone's house in the foreseeable future. But it is intended that in certain circumstances individual dwellings may be re-banded after the valuation list is published on 1st April 1993.

If your home increases in value because improvements have been carried out, for example, an extension was added after 1st April 1993, the change will not affect the council tax valuation band until the property (or any part of it) is sold. Thereafter it can then be re-banded if the increase in value is sufficient to move it to a higher band.

If your home decreases in value because part of it is demolished, the physical state of the local area changes, or alterations have been carried out to make it suitable for use by a person with a physical disability, it may be re-banded with immediate effect.

If you start or stop using part of your property to carry out a business, or the balance between business and residential use changes, it may be necessary to alter both the council tax banding and the non-domestic rateable value.

If there has been an error in the original valuation it can be corrected and the correct banding substituted in the list.

If there has been an appeal, and it is decided that the banding is wrong, a new band will be substituted.

Where a re-banding is necessary, your home will be valued at the figure it would have been expected to sell for on 1st April 1991, if the new physical circumstance had existed then. If the change in value is only slight, it may not be enough to move your home from one band to another.

Can I appeal?

If you disagree with the banding in the list you can lodge a proposal to change the list. Any proposal should be lodged with the Assessor within the relevant time limits. If no agreement can be reached, you can appeal and have your case considered by the Valuation Appeal Committee, which is an independent tribunal.

Click here for the procedure and time limits for lodging appeals.

How can I find out more?

This site covers the main aspects of the valuation and banding of dwellings for the council tax system. It is intended to help you understand how you will be affected by the council tax system. It does not cover every detail and should not be regarded as a comprehensive statement of the law.

If you need further information about the valuation banding of your dwelling you should contact your local Assessor's Department.