Neighbours lose battle to keep lower council tax band

TWO neighbours who were £260 a year better off because of a typing error have lost a legal battle to peg their council tax.

Houses in Carnbee Park, Liberton, were supposed to be in "Band F" when they were built in 1997, but a slip-up listed Agi Holland's home and Alan Sutherland's property in the cheaper "Band E".

When Lothian's assessor noticed the mistake, the neighbours' homes were shifted to the higher band – but they successfully challenged the move.

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The assessor then went to the Court of Session in Edinburgh and, in a rare decision, a judge overturned the Valuation Appeal Committee's decision.

Lord Gill, in a written ruling issued today, noted: "In the normal case it is not for this court to disturb findings made by a Valuation Appeal Committee."

But, said the judge, in this case they had "seriously erred".

Wrongly entering the band was a straightforward mistake as all the houses should have been in the same band.