FAMILIES in Ashbourne are being warned to ignore companies offering to help reduce their council tax bill.
Firms offering to check a householder’s banding system have been a recent source of complaints to Derbyshire’s trading standards officers, as residents realise they can check their council tax bands for free.
Letters have been received by people living in the area which suggest their house has been placed in a higher council tax band than it should be and residents are offered a service to help claim back cash by having their property reclassified.
Councillor Kevin Parkinson, cabinet member for regeneration, said: “I can understand residents being tempted by what’s on offer in these letters, particularly during times where there is such pressure on the household budget.
“But there is absolutely no reason for any Derbyshire resident to pay for this service.
“These letters are being sent by businesses not in any way associated with Derbyshire councils.
“The vast majority of homes will be correctly categorised anyway, but those who want to seek clarification on their banding can do so totally free of charge.
“We don’t want people to pay for a service which they simply do not need.”
To check if a business is authorised by the Claims Management Regulator, visit www.claimsregulation.gov.uk/search.aspx
To assess the tax banding of a property visit www.voa.gov.uk.