Supreme Court rules on value of vacant offices

The UK Supreme Court has allowed, in a majority judgment, an appeal by the Valuation Officer against a decision of the Court of Appeal that the rateable value of a large, vacant, office block in Blackpool should be a nominal figure of £1. The three-two majority judgment of the Supreme Court is that the valuation for the building of rateable value £370,000, determined by the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber), should be reinstated.

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Business rates mitigation schemes were legally sound

The Court of Appeal has found that empty rates mitigation schemes, based on a “managed insolvency” process were legal and effective. The Court rejected challenges to these schemes made by Rossendale Borough Council and Wigan Council and allowed appeals by the companies organising the schemes. The decision will be welcomed by those owners of vacant buildings who have used these schemes to mitigate their rates liabilities.
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Treasury Select Committee to review business rates policy

The Parliamentary Treasury Select Committee has launched an inquiry into business rates to scrutinise how Government policy has impacted business. The Committee will examine how business rates policy has changed, including business rates retention, alternatives to property-based taxes, such as the proposed digital services tax, and how changes to business rates could impact businesses.
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Retail Warehouse rating assessment reduced

The Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) has reduced the assessment of a retail warehouse in Plymouth, occupied by Go Outdoors, from rateable value £377,500 to rateable value £355,000 on an appeal by the ratepayer against a decision of the Valuation Tribunal for England. In its decision the Upper Tribunal comments again, as it has in a number of recent determinations, on the role of the expert witness. ...Read More

Tribunal unable to consider appeal

The Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) has found that it had no jurisdiction to determine a ratepayer's appeal in circumstances where the change that the ratepayer sought to rely upon on appeal fell outside the change described in the ratepayer's original proposal. The decision has important implications for those seeking to make proposal against entries in the rating list. ...Read More