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Norwich man slashed 'hundreds' off council tax bill after being overcharged

PUBLISHED: 11:28 24 October 2019 | UPDATED: 16:01 24 October 2019

Norfolk County Council tax bill. Picture: Denise Bradley

Norfolk County Council tax bill. Picture: Denise Bradley

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A Norwich man saved himself hundreds of pounds after a shock realisation that he was the only one of the residents on his street paying "considerably" more council tax than his neighbours.

Liam Harford was living at Kerrison Road, in Norwich, when he successfully contested his bill with the city council, slashing hundreds of pounds from himself and his housemates' bills.

It comes as new figures reveal the numbers of people who contested their bills in the past year has plummeted, with scores fewer challenges mounted against councils throughout the county.

Mr Harford, 23, said: "It was a band B property when the houses next door and all along the road were all A.

"I looked at records on the council website and mine was the only band A, bar one that had had a large extension."

Liam Harford was living at Kerrison Road when he realised he was paying “considerably” more council tax than his neighbours. Photo: Liam HarfordLiam Harford was living at Kerrison Road when he realised he was paying “considerably” more council tax than his neighbours. Photo: Liam Harford

The policy consultant added: "I didn't agree I should be paying more a month than my neighbours when my house was considerably worse in shape and maintenance than theirs.

"If theirs were A, why should mine be B?"

READ MORE: Extra £55 could be added to Norfolk council tax bills amid £16m further savings

And the council agreed and decided to lower his council tax, which he said saved him approximately £200 a year.

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Mr Harford added: "The council were pleasant in dealing with my claim - I saved a lot of money.

"And the friends of mine who now live there will still be saving money based off of my successful contestation."

Figures from the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) showed residents living in the Breckland, Broadland, Great Yarmouth, King's Lynn and West Norfolk, North Norfolk and South Norfolk council areas contested their bills a combined total of 130 fewer times in 2018-19 than last year.

And residents living in Norwich were the only group whose rate of challenges increased, with ten more people contesting their bill last year in comparison to 2017-18.

While the number of challenges in the Breckland council area remained consistent - with 100 in both 2018-19 and in 2017-18.

The drop comes as a 4pc council tax rise for people living in Norfolk is factored into next year's budget, after councillors mooted the rise to help make almost £16m in further savings, to help plug a predicted funding gap and a £4.6m forecasted overspend.

Band D households in Norfolk - the most common tax band - saw their bills rise by between 3.8pc and 5.8pc in April last year.

READ MORE: Extra £55 could be added to Norfolk council tax bills amid £16m further savings

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