Council Tax completion notices

What is a completion notice?

A completion notice is a document that specifies the completion day. This is the day on which a property becomes a dwelling for Council Tax purposes.

It is served to the property owner when the property is complete, or within three months of being completed. This avoids any issues which may come up if it was served after completion, such as not knowing who the owner was at the time of completion.

The property is entered into the valuation list from the day specified on the completion notice.

What if a property is complete but unoccupied?

New properties that are unoccupied and substantially unfurnished, whether newly constructed or created by conversion, are charged the full rate of Council Tax.

What criteria does Brighton & Hove City Council use to decide a completion date?

A property will be considered as being substantially complete when:

  • the basic structure is complete, for example, all external walls and roof are in place
  • internal walls are built
  • floors are laid

 A completion notice will be issued even if the following works have not been completed:

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

The criteria for calling a property complete for Council Tax purposes is very different to what is needed for Building Control. This means that if the Building Control team say the property is not complete it does not necessarily stop the Council from serving a completion notice for Council Tax purposes.

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, this does not necessarily mean the property is considered complete when you receive the notice (date of service), the important date to bear in mind is the date that the council is specifying as the date of completion.

What if I disagree with the completion notice?

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, they are an independent body.

Contact them via post:

Valuation Tribunal Services
2nd Floor Black Lion House
45 Whitechapel Road
E1 1DU                             

You can, however, write to the council initially if you wish. Please ensure that you set out the reasons why you disagree with the date of completion.

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

If there are any questions regarding completion notices, please contact Brighton & Hove City Council by phone on (01273) 291291 or by e-mail at

Further information