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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 and is the date it is entered into the valuation list and given a band by the Valuation Office Agency.

The completion notice will be issued by:

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

In accordance with Schedule 4A of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 and Section 17 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992.

Where a domestic property is structurally complete, or where the work remaining can reasonably be expected to be completed within 3 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.

The criteria for determining completion for Council Tax purposes are different to those for determining completion for Building Control. A property may still be considered complete for Council Tax purposes even if a Building Control certificate has not been issued. A Completion Notice date may also differ from the completion date on the sale of a property.

Further information about a Building Control completion certificate.

When a property is considered to be complete

To ensure the accuracy of our completion notices, council officers visit and review dwellings that are being built or altered. Evidence, such as photographs, is obtained to enable us to make the right decision.

We 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 served up to three months in advance of the date on which the council specifies that a property is complete. Please note, the important date is the completion date specified in the body of the notice and not the date the notice is sent.

If a property is complete but not occupied

If the property is complete, we 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 your property is complete or nearing completion, please email

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.

If you have moved into a new build property but have not yet received a Council Tax bill, please email or use our online change of address form to let us know you have moved in.

Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)

Any property with shared areas and without individual entrances for each tenant is subject to the same Council Tax band as the whole building.

Contact us

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:


For properties within the Bournemouth area, complete our online form. 

Alternatively, you can email

Christchurch and Poole

For properties within the Christchurch and Poole areas

Alternatively you can call 01202 123 333.

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