Fife retirement complex residents to fight for council tax reduction

Eden Court, Cupar
Eden Court, Cupar

Residents of a Cupar retirement complex will continue their fight to have their council tax reduced – despite a negative response from the Fife Council Assessor’s office.

The one and two-bedroom flats at Eden Court are valued at band E for council tax, and face paying at least £105 more tax next year. Residents of the 55-apartment complex in Station Road complained unsuccessfully about the banding when they started moving in more than 11 years ago.

Now they are to have a sample range of properties valued by local property company Hardie’s, who will then make recommendations on whether there would be any merit in appealing to Fife Council, and if residents agree that course of action, carry out individual valuations to strengthen the case.

But Fife Council Assessor’s office has told the Herald owners had just six months to appeal their council tax banding after taking ownership.

“The right to appeal after the initial six month period is extremely limited, and is unlikely to apply to the flats at Eden Court,” a spokesman said, describing the initial appeals as having been “resolved”.

Eden Court resident Bob Farmer is leading the fight and says he will await the outcome of the independent assessment before discussing the way forward with his fellow residents.

“If the surveyor says it is worth going ahead with an appeal then we will look at how we go forward,” he said.

“It is still worth having a look at the flats and giving us a professional opinion.

“Other complexes have had success in getting their bandings reduced and the feeling here is that we are paying too much.”

He compared the council tax banding with similar properties elsewhere, and has even found a luxury, five-bedroom house in a lower tax band.

Local MSP Willie Rennie has joined the fight, helping residents agree the package for the inependent valuation.

He said the assessor seemed to have prejudged the appeal, adding: “Together with the residents I am preparing the case for that appeal. I believe they have a very strong case and I am sure when the assessor’s office reconsiders the information they will agree with the residents.

“The residents know they are in the wrong council tax band and this needs to be resolved in a fair and just manner.”