Your Council Tax Explained

Council Tax Valuation Bands

Your property is placed in one of eight bands to allow the Council to calculate your Council Tax bill.

Council Tax Band Property values

Property values are based on the amount your property might have sold for on the open market as at 1st April 1991. All properties are assigned a valuation as at that date, even if they were built recently. The valuation is by the Valuation Office Agency, which is part of HM Revenues and Customs.

Valuation Values and Range
Valuation Values Range of Band
A Up to £40,000
B £40,001 to £52,000
C £52,001 to £68,000
D £68,001 to £88,000
E £88,001 to £120,000
F £120,001 to £160,000
G £160,001 to £320,000
H more than £320,000

Details of property bands are available on the Valuation Office Agency website.

If you think your Council Tax band is wrong please contact:

Council Tax South,
Valuation Office Agency
Second Floor, 1 Francis Grove
SW19 4DT.

Tel: 0300 050 1501

If you submit an appeal against your Council Tax band you must still continue to pay the instalments shown on your Council Tax bill until a final decision is made.

Council Tax Appeals

As well as appealing against the Council Tax band for your property you can also appeal against other Council Tax matters, for example if you do not think you are the person who should pay the bill or if you think you should get a discount, reduction or exemption which you have not received.

An appeal about a Council Tax matter must be made in writing to the address on the front of your bill.

Please note that if you submit an appeal you must continue to pay the instalments shown on your Council Tax bill until a final decision is made. If you make an appeal to us about a Council Tax matter and you are not satisfied with the outcome, we would tell you at that stage how you could make a further appeal to an independent tribunal.

Who is liable to pay Council Tax?

Liability to pay Council Tax normally falls to one or more adults who are solely or mainly resident in a property. Where there is more than one person resident, look at the following list and working from the top down stop when you reach a category that applies to someone in your home; he or she is the liable person:

  • Resident freeholder (so for owner-occupied property the owner will be liable)
  • Resident leaseholder
  • Resident statutory/secure tenant
  • Resident licensee
  • Resident

Husbands and wives, unmarried couples or civil partners living together are both responsible for paying the bill. People who are joint owners or joint tenants are also jointly liable, whether or not they are actually shown on the bill. Where there is no resident in the property then the owner is liable. The owner is also liable, instead of the residents, for certain prescribed classes of dwellings as follows:

Class A - residential care homes, nursing homes and some hostels
Class B - properties lived in by religious communities (such as monasteries and convents)
Class C - properties occupied by more than one household where the residents share certain facilities such as a kitchen or bathroom
Class D - properties which are not the owner’s main home, but which are the main home of someone whom the owner employs in domestic service
Class E - properties lived in by ministers of religion
Class F - properties provided to an asylum seeker under Section 95 of Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

Council Tax Discounts and Exemptions

For further information and details on how to make an application for discounts and exemptions.

Hardship Relief

In cases of clear financial hardship, a reduction in your Council Tax may be granted by the Council or your payment could be deferred. Each case is considered individually against the Council’s Hardship Policy.

Further information regarding any of the discounts and exemptions.

Council Tax Reduction

Council Tax Reduction can provide help with some or all of your Council Tax. Whether you get help depends on the amount of Council Tax you have to pay, your personal circumstances and your income and savings. Should you wish to make an application please contact the benefits team online or by telephone on 01273 471600.

How to pay your Council Tax

Council Tax is normally payable over 10 months, 1st April to 1st January. On request, bills issued before the 15th April may be paid in 12 instalments. If a bill is issued after 15th April and additional instalments are requested then instalments equal to the number of whole months left in the financial year will be granted. Ways to pay your bill are displayed on the back of your bill.

Monthly Direct Debit

We offer a payment date on 1st of the month. If you wish to take advantage of this facility, you can telephone us on 01273 471600 and supply us with bank details together with your Council Tax Reference. Alternatively, you can print a direct debit mandate from (PDF, 131kb)

BACS, Bank Transfer, Standing Order

Please use the following bank details to set up a monthly standing order, or to make monthly online payments:

Lloyds Bank
Sort Code 30-80-12
Account number 10298260

Please ensure that you quote your Council Tax account reference.

Debit or Credit Card

You can make payment using your debit or credit card or by ringing our 24 hour automated payment line on 0300 343 0040. A charge of 1.5% will be made for payment made by credit card.

Introducing Self Service

You can now register to view the following details of your Council Tax account online

  • Your current charge and previous years charges
  • Discounts and exemptions that have been awarded
  • Payments you have made
  • Your overall account balance

You can also register to pay your account by Direct Debit.

Information on how we spend the Council Tax

You can find information on what the Council Tax is spent on by visiting the ‘Where your Council Tax goes' section.

Contact us online
Phone: 01273 471600
Visit: Southover House, Southover Road, Lewes, BN7 1AB