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Valuation Tribunal (England and Wales)

If you appeal against a Council Tax Support (Council Tax Reduction) decision in England or Wales, a Valuation Tribunal will deal with your appeal. This guide goes through the process of what happens after your appeal is received.

1. What is the Valuation Tribunal?

If you appeal against a Council Tax Support (Council Tax Reduction) decision in England or Wales, a Valuation Tribunal will deal with your appeal.

This guide goes through the process of what happens after your appeal is received.

To find out how to appeal, see Challenging a Council Tax Support decision.

Applies to: England and Wales.

In Scotland you need to contact your local authority for details of how your appeal will be dealt with.
The Valuation Tribunal for England and the Valuation Tribunal for Wales are independent and completely separate from your local authority. They provide local hearings for Council Tax Support (Council Tax Reduction) appeals and are completely free to use.

Usually, three members who are trained volunteers will hear your appeal, and a clerk, who is an employee of the Tribunal, will be there to advise about the procedure and law.

The hearings are meant to be as informal as possible, but because they are heard in public are structured and have some formality.

2. What happens when your appeal is received by the Valuation Tribunal?

The Valuation Tribunal will send you an ‘acknowledgement notice’ and the local authority will send to the tribunal and you their response to your appeal, and following this you will be sent an ‘enquiry form’ from the tribunal to help allow arrangements to be made for the appeal hearing

Valuation Tribunal acknowledgement notice

When your appeal form is received by the Tribunal Service you will be sent an acknowledgement notice as confirmation.

The notice includes:

  • The Tribunal's contact details
  • The information that they have about your appeal
  • Your unique appeal number to be quoted by you if you contact them about your appeal
  • An enquiry form, which you will need to fill in and return within two weeks 

Local authority's response

  • The local authority will send the Tribunal and you (or your representative):
  • Copies of forms you have completed
  • Copies of information or evidence you have sent to them 
  • An explanation of how they came to their decision, including the law they have based it on 


  • Read all the papers you receive carefully and note anything that you disagree with
  • If anything in the acknowledgement notice is wrong, contact the Tribunal straight away 
  • If you think that something important is missing (like a letter you sent to the local authority), ask for this to be added to the appeal papers
  • Complete the Tribunal's enquiry form and return it along with any further information or evidence within 14 days, or they may think you don't want to continue with your appeal and cancel it. 

Valuation Tribunal enquiry form

The enquiry form helps the Tribunal Service to arrange your appeal hearing.

You will also be asked if you want your appeal dealt with as:

  • An Oral hearing where you and/or a representative appear in person to answer questions about your claim; or
  • A Paper hearing where the Tribunal just look at the evidence on paper without you or your representative present. 

You may have a better chance of winning your appeal if you attend the hearing.

If you would like to attend but have accessibility needs you should mention this on the enquiry form. The Tribunal will arrange a suitable venue and any equipment that may be needed, and can cover the cost of transport so that you can attend your appeal. The clerk at the Tribunal can refund these expenses on the day of the hearing.

If you will need a translator or a signer you should also mention this on the enquiry form so it can be arranged in time for the hearing.

If you have arranged for someone to represent you at the appeal, you should put their details on the enquiry form.

To find a representative see our information page: Where to find advice and representation

If you can't find a representative, an adviser may still be able to help you put together your case, collect evidence to support your appeal, and prepare you to represent yourself.

You can use our Find an Adviser tool to find a local adviser.

The enquiry form also asks you to provide any further information or evidence to support your appeal. You should provide as much new relevant information as you can.

This could be:

  • A medical report from your GP or consultant
  • Bank statements
  • Extracts from relevant Council Tax legislation
  • Case law to support your appeal.If you are waiting for evidence, such as a letter from your doctor, put this on the form.

If you choose a paper hearing, you should send as much relevant information and evidence as possible.

Make it clear what you think the decision should be and why, as this is all the Tribunal will see when making their decision.

The next page explains what happens at the appeal hearing.

3. Valuation Tribunal appeal hearing

The tribunal or committee will hear your appeal as soon as possible after receiving your appeal form and will give you at least four weeks’ notice of the hearing date.

If you can't go to the hearing on the arranged date you should contact the Tribunal office, if you have a good reason they should be able to arrange another date.

Nearer the date you will be contacted to see if you are attending the hearing and you may be given an idea of the time it will take place.


If you manage to settle your appeal with the local authority, you can withdraw your appeal at any stage before the hearing date.

4. Valuation Tribunal - Oral hearing

An oral hearing means that you and your representative (if you have one) can attend, or your representative can attend the hearing without you.

On the hearing day there is likely to be more than one case being heard and each is heard in turn.

The people on the Tribunal panel will already have seen all the information and evidence about your case that has been sent to them.

When your case is heard you or your representative will be given a chance to explain in your own words why you think the decision is wrong. Then the local authority’s representative will explain how they came to their decision.

The tribunal panel may ask questions about the case. If you have questions for the local authority, you can ask these as well.

When the tribunal panel think they have all the information they need, they will ask you if you want to say anything else to support your case.

They will then ask you to leave the room so they can discuss all the evidence and make their decision.
You may be told the decision there and then.

Following the hearing you will receive the decision, and reasons for the decision, in writing within one month. The Tribunal will also send the decision to your Local Authority


If you ask for an oral hearing and you or your representative don't attend, the Tribunal may dismiss your appeal.

5. Valuation Tribunal - Paper hearing

A paper hearing means that the tribunal or committee will only consider the written evidence in private and you and your representative (if you have one) do not attend a hearing.

You will not be told when the paper hearing is taking place.

You will be sent the decision, and reasons for the decision, in writing after the hearing. The Tribunal will also send the decision to your Local Authority

6. Possible outcomes of Valuation Tribunals

The local authority will have to make any changes it has been ordered to by the Tribunal.

If the Tribunal agree that the original decision was wrong, you will receive a letter from the local authority confirming that the decision has been changed. If you have paid too much Council Tax as a result of this, you will get a refund or it will be credited to your Council Tax account.

If the Tribunal decides it can't change the decision, you will receive a letter confirming this

7. If you still think the decision is wrong

You can only appeal against the Tribunal's decision if you think they have misinterpreted or made a mistake about the law. You will need specialist advice if you think this has happened.

You can use the Turn2us Find an Adviser tool to find a local adviser. 

The time limits for appealing against a tribunal decision are strict so it is important to seek specialist advice quickly after receiving your decision.