RESIDENTS in two retirement blocks in a Somerset town are set to receive a share of around £140,000 in council tax refunds.

People who live in Fulford Court and Stone Mill Court in Minehead were successful in an appeal against their level of council tax charges.

Current and former residents are set to receive a share of around £140,000 due to the incorrect banding of their homes.

Rating consultants, Chiltern Oakmont Ltd, which specialises in council tax band appeals, led the negotiations on behalf of Fulford Court and Stone Mill Court residents.

“It is scandalous that older residents of the community have been paying the incorrect amount of tax for so many years," said Andrew Van Loen, director of Chiltern Oakmont Ltd, said.

"However, we are delighted that after nearly two years of negotiations, we have finally succeeded in ensuring that the residents of Fulford Court and Stone Mill Court are paying the correct amount of tax, and that many will now be receiving substantial refunds.

"We would urge everyone to check their council tax band against neighbouring properties, and not to simply assume they are in the correct band.”

One man who is set to receive a refund is Chris Perry, who has lived at Fulford Court for four years.

His council tax was band D, but it has now been changed to a band C.

"I think band D is quite high, I know my flat is classed as a two bedroom but I have turned one room into a dining room/music room," he added.

"Class D is too high for the flat, and it is already quite expensive to live here.

"I have a friend in West Street in Minehead and they are on a band C - in a two bedroom bungalow!

"I wouldn't have disputed the council tax, but the people at Chiltern Oakmont took all the hassle out of it for us.

"Thanks to them for getting in touch and sorting this.

"They have worked hard - particularly with Covid in between as well.

"The money takes a lot of weight off my mind, I put £600 a month to my bills account, so it will knock quite a bit off that and I shall start saving to go on holiday – maybe to Burnham-on-Sea!"

The banding of properties is the responsibility of the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), which is part of HM Revenue and Customs.

Chiltern Oakmont, acting on behalf of the residents, identified irregularities in the council tax bands of both blocks of flats.

After nearly two years of negotiations with the VOA, reductions were agreed which have been backdated to when the blocks were first built (mid to late 90s).

A VOA spokesperson said: “We carefully consider various factors including a property’s size, character and location when determining the appropriate council tax band.

“Appeals over bandings can lead to either reductions or increases in council tax bands, based on the evidence provided.

“We cannot comment on individual cases.”