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
a permanent availability of gas/electric/water is laid up to the property (but not necessarily connected)
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)
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.
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.