What a completion notice is

A completion notice is a document that specifies the 'completion date' for newly built properties. It is the date on which the property becomes a dwelling for Council Tax purposes, and is entered into the valuation list.

  • Where a domestic property is structurally complete, or where the work remaining can reasonably be expected to be completed within 3 months, a completion notice will be served on the 'owner' of the property. The 'owner' is defined as 'the person entitled to possession'
  • Where work on a property is not yet completed, the completion notice can be served specifying the final completion day of up to three months from the date of service, for the remaining works for completion of the property to be carried out.

What criteria we use to decide a completion date

We will consider a property to have reached a stage of substantial completion when:

  • The basic structure is complete, for example all external walls and the roof are in place.
  • Internal walls are built (although not necessarily plastered).
  • Floors are laid (although the screed or top coat of concrete need not have been laid)

Many properties will have reached an advanced level of completion where, for example, ceilings are in place, walls have been plastered, and 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.

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

  • Internal decoration of the property, including the fitting of internal doors
  • Final fitting of bathroom and kitchen units
  • Final fitting of electrical fixtures, plug points and switches
  • Final connection of water, gas and electricity

The criteria for determining completion for council tax purposes are substantially different to that for determining completion for Building Control, therefore whether building control certificates have been issued or not, is not directly relevant

It is important to remember that a completion notice may be served up to three months in advance of the day on which the council specifies that a property is complete. Therefore, whilst at the date when the notice is sent the property may well not be complete, the important date to bear in mind is the date that the council is specifying as the date of completion.

If a property is complete but not occupied

If the property is complete, the council 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.

New properties, whether newly constructed or created by conversion, which are unoccupied and substantially unfurnished will be subject to a full charge when it is brought onto the council tax list.

If the property becomes occupied

A new or altered dwelling 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.

Appealing against a completion notice

  • If you disagree with a completion notice, you should appeal within 28 days of the date the construction notice is serviced. Council tax completion notice appeals includes the appeal form and tells you about the process.
  • You must state the grounds for the appeal and should accompany it with a copy of the completion notice that has been issued to you.

However, you can contact us 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 you sufficient time to appeal further if you wish. A revised completion notice will be issued, if necessary.

This information is a general guide and is not a substitute for the relevant statutes and regulations.

Was this information helpful?