Hundreds of thousands of homeowners could be paying over the odds for their council tax simply because the previous owner had an extension. Sunday Times

The council-tax system automatically upgrades homes once they have been extended, even if the extra space does not warrant them going up a band. This means that some homeowners may be paying hundreds of pounds a year more in council tax than they need to.

Consumer groups are urging people to check their banding, especially if they moved into a home with an extension, and claim back overpayments which could amount to £4,000 over the past 15 years – when the current system came into effect.

The typical three-bedroom house, classified as band D, pays around £1,214 in council tax year. Band E houses are charged £1,483–£269 a year more.