Council tax completion notice

In this section:
Completion notice policy

Completion notice policy

To ensure the accuracy of our completion notices, our inspectors visit and review properties that are being built or altered. Evidence, such as photographs, is obtained to enable us to make the right decision.

A property will be considered to have reached a stage of substantial completion when it meets the following criteria:

Shell and core:

  • all external walls are complete
  • roof tiles are laid
  • ceilings are in place
  • floors have been laid
  • staircase(s) have been fitted
  • external doors fitted
  • windows fitted
  • a permanent availability of gas/electric/water is laid up to the property (but not necessarily connected)

First fix:

The position from foundation up to plastering:

  • cutting and laying of joists
  • erecting studwork and partitioning
  • fixing door linings
  • fixing window boards
  • assembling and erecting staircase(s)
  • plasterboards
  • fixing cable network around shell

Many properties will have reached an advanced level of completion where, for example, second fixing may have commenced.  In these circumstances the amount of time allowed in the notice for full completion of the property may be quite short.

From the point of second fix, we would consider the property as being substantially complete.

Second fix:

  • hanging of internal and external doors
  • fixing of skirting, architraves and decorative mouldings
  • finishing off staircases and balustrade
  • installation of power points
  • installation of light fittings, switches, handles and locks
  • boxing in - waste runs and sanitary ware
  • radiators and boilers
  • guttering and down pipes

In order to be considered ready for banding, the following work does not need to have been carried out:

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

The criteria for determining completion for council tax purposes are substantially different to that for determining completion for building control; therefore, whether a building control certificate has been issued or not, is not directly relevant.

If the property is complete but not occupied we will serve a completion notice on the owner as soon as is reasonably practicable. A completion notice cannot be backdated, even if the property has been completed for some time.

Full council tax will be charged when it is brought into the council tax list.

A new or altered property does not require a completion notice once someone starts to live there. The date used to enter onto the Council Tax list will be the date of occupation.

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 Service.

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 issued to you; however, you can contact the council in the first instance setting out the reasons why you disagree with the date of completion.

Once we have received your enquiry we may ask for further information, and will advise you of our decision as soon as possible, to allow sufficient time to appeal further if you wish. A revised completion notice will be issued, if necessary.

For further information about appealing against completion notices, email

Page last updated: 20 Jul 2023