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

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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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

Proposal valid despite error

The Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) has determined that a proposal to alter the rating list was valid, despite containing an error in failing to state the rent paid for the property. Errors of this nature do not automatically mean that a proposal is invalid. The question of validity has to be determined using the ordinary rules of construction and applying them to the facts in each case. ...Read More

Flooding risk not a “material change”

The Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) has found that the risk of future flooding was not a "material change in circumstances" such as to justify a proposal to alter the rating assessment of the property concerned so as to reflect that risk. The appeal concerned a car supermarket at Hessle Dock in Hull, where the last flooding took place in 2013, but the site was subsequently recategorised by the Environment Agency as having a "high risk" of flooding and flood insurance was refused. ...Read More