Alteration to assessment following end of temporary use

The Upper Tribunal has determined that a former wedding venue, part of which was let out on a temporary basis, should revert to its former rating assessment and description once the temporary use had ceased. The decision in Arnold v Dearing (VO) found that the Valuation Tribunal had been wrong to refuse to alter the assessment to reflect the letting of part of the property, but that the assessment should then revert to its former level following the end of that letting. ...Read More

Stables and arena “appurtenant” to house

Whilst business properties are subject to non-domestic rates, domestic properties are subject to Council Tax. The definition of domestic property includes living accommodation, together with any property that is “appurtenant to” that living accommodation. The Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) has considered what is meant by “appurtenant to” in its decision in Corkish (VO) v Bigwood. ...Read More

Office assessment reduced for disturbance

The rating assessment of offices in Berwick Street, London W1, was reduced by the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) on appeal. The decision in HostSoho Limited v Jackson (VO) provides a useful reminder to valuers that valuation for rating, particularly in unusual circumstances, requires the application of common sense, and is not a formula-based process. ...Read More

Rates relief for public lavatories

The Government has introduced a Parliamentary Bill to give relief from non-domestic rates to public lavatories in England and Wales. The Non-Domestic Rating (Public Lavatories) Bill gives effect to a promise made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in last year’s Budget. ...Read More

More frequent rating revaluations

The Government has introduced a Parliamentary Bill to bring forward the date of the next rating revaluation in England from April 2022 to April 2021. The Non-Domestic Rating (Lists) Bill also allows for revaluations every three years from 2021 onwards. It gives effect to a promise made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in last year’s Spring Statement to carry out more frequent revaluations. ...Read More

Nominal value for stripped-out offices

The Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) has determined that offices at Canary Wharf which had been stripped out were incapable of beneficial occupation, and should therefore have a nominal rateable value, following the decision of the Supreme Court in SJ & J Monk v Newbigin (Rating Surveyors Association and another intervening) [2017]. This decision will, we hope, finally resolve the approach to be adopted when valuing for rating properties undergoing redevelopment or refurbishment. ...Read More

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. ...Read More

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