Completion notices

Completion notices are issued when a new property is built.

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.

The completion notice will be issued by:

  • post, to the registered address of the "owner"
  • if the address is unknown by affixing it to a conspicuous part of the building.

Where a domestic property is structurally complete, or where the work remaining can reasonably be expected to be completed within three 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.

When a property is considered to be complete

The council will consider a property to have reached a stage of substantial completion when it meets the following criteria:

  • the basic structure is complete, for example all external walls and roof in place (wind and watertight)
  • internal walls are built (although not necessarily plastered)
  • floors laid (although the screed or topcoat 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 complete and ready for banding from the date specified on the completion notice, 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 (although services should be laid on to the site)

A completion notice may be issued up to three months in advance of the date on which the council specifies that a property is complete. 

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 from the date of completion (as specified in the completion notice).

If the property is complete and occupied

A new or altered dwelling does not require a completion notice once someone starts to live there. The date used to enter the property into the Council Tax list and the date on which a full charge will be payable will usually be the date of occupation.

Reporting changes

You have 21 days to report any change affecting Council Tax liability, discounts, exemptions or disregards.

If you have moved into a new build property but have not received a Council Tax bill, please contact us.

Contact the Revenues and Benefits team

Revenues and Benefits team
Surrey Heath House
Knoll Road
GU15 3HD
United Kingdom