Frequently Asked Questions

Health, well-being and care

If your house has been extended or changed prior to you buying it, but since it was originally valued and banded, it will only be re-valued and issued with a new band when a material change takes place. The transfer of ownership of a property is classed as a material change.

Council tax property banding is decided by the Valuation Office - a separate Government body. If you disagree with your band or would like to query it, please contact the Valuation Office direct on Leicester 0300 050 1501. Further details can be found on their website.

If you are unhappy with a decision you can ask us for an explanation and a more detailed breakdown of how your claim has been assessed. This is called a 'statement of reasons'.
If, after receiving a statement of reasons, you want the decision to be looked at again you can ask for it to be reviewed by another benefit officer, not the one who made the original decision. This is called a 'reconsideration'.
If you are still unhappy, you can formally appeal against the decision which will mean it is considered by an independent tribunal organised by the Appeals Service, who are independent of the Council.

Any amount of overpaid housing benefit will normally be recovered from the claimant or, in certain circumstances, the landlord.
Any amount of overpaid council tax benefit will normally be added back on to your Council Tax liability.
If the overpayment is the result of an error on the part of the Council, the Department for Work and Pensions or any other relevant official organisation, and the person receiving the housing and council tax benefit couldn't have reasonably been expected to know that they were receiving too much benefit, then it will not usually be recoverable.
If the Council believes that you are liable to repay the overpaid housing and council tax benefit you will be informed in writing of the amount of overpayment and the period that it relates to.

Any amount of housing and council tax benefit which has been awarded but to which there is no entitlement, whether on initial determination, or as subsequently revised on review or further review.

You have to be 18 years old to buy fireworks.

Council Tax is not a direct payment for services received. It is a means whereby each householder contributes towards the cost of services provided in their locality e.g. Fire, Police, Education, Social Services. Your contribution is based on the capital value of your home as at 1 April 1991.

The power to do this is at the discretion of the Council and the current policy at OWBC is not to offer such a discount. This decision was taken as it was felt that to allow a discount would disadvantage those who did not have the means to pay in full rather than by instalments, and the cost of the discount would have to be met by all Council Tax payers as it would not be covered by the increase in cash flow.

The council acts as a collection agent for:

  • Leicestershire County Council
  • Leicestershire Police Authority
  • The Combined Fire Authority

These bodies set their own budgets and we bill and collect Council Tax on their behalf in addition to the Council Tax for services provided by OWBC.

No, you cannot get interest on overpaid Council Tax. There is no provision in law to allow it so it would be illegal for the council to pay it.

Council Tax Regulations give everyone the right to pay in monthly instalments, usually over 10 months. Payments are due on 1 April ( or 15 April if paying by direct debit) and each month thereafter until 1 January. If payments are not made by the due dates shown on your Council Tax bill reminders are sent promptly. If these are not paid in full within 7 days, recovery action will continue which may remove your right to pay by instalments. The full year then becomes due and payable in full.

For further information visit our web page Advice if your Council Tax is in arrears.

No, if you stop paying, we are obliged to commence recovery action against you. Your liability to pay Council Tax is not affected by provision of local authority services.

You should contact the local authority responsible for providing the service and say why you are unhappy. You can pursue the matter through the Council’s complaints procedure if necessary, and ultimately involve your local Councillor and/or the Ombudsman as appropriate.

Councils are given some discretion within the Regulations on the amount of discount allowed for empty properties. Most Councils, including OWBC, have opted to allow the smallest or no discount in order to encourage empty homes to be occupied as quickly as possible.

From 1 April 2019, OWBC will no longer offer any discount on empty properties.

Possibly, but you must provide the Council with all of the reasons why your entitlement should start from a date earlier than the date you submitted your benefit application form. The Council will only be able to agree to backdate your claim if you can demonstrate good cause why you did not apply earlier and that this existed for the whole of the period that you are seeking backdated benefit to be paid. Reasons such as 'I did not know about the scheme' or 'I did not have time to apply' are not normally considered to demonstrate good cause. Backdated benefit entitlement cannot exceed a period of 6 months for a claimant or partner who are under 60 and cannot exceed a period of 3 months for a claimant or partner who are 60 or over from the date of the claim.

If you are jointly liable for the council tax then your council tax benefit will only cover the percentage of the council tax for which you are liable. For example if two people are jointly liable and you claim council tax benefit but the other person doesn't then only your 50 per cent of the council tax will be paid by council tax benefit.

You may have a "non-dependant" living with you (this is someone aged 18 or over who is not legally dependent upon you), and an amount is deducted from your housing benefit based upon the circumstances of the non-dependant. The housing benefit scheme expects that the non-dependant will contribute towards the cost of the rent.

Showing 1 to 15 of 1