Valuation Tribunal cannot quash a Completion Notice

The Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) has allowed an appeal against a decision of the Valuation Tribunal for England that quashed a Completion Notice issued by the London Borough of Newham in respect of a new building in East London. The Upper Tribunal also determined a completion date for the new property. The decision is of particular interest at present as new buildings may be completed, but remain unoccupied because of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Business rates multiplier frozen for 2021/22

As part of the announcements made in support of the Chancellor’s spending review, HM Treasury has confirmed that the business rates multiplier for 2021/22 will remain frozen at its current level in England, and will not increase in line with inflation. There will be further announcements later regarding addition business rates reliefs for 2021/22, to support businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. ...Read More

Rating appeals struck out as an “abuse of process”

The Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) has struck out two appeals by ratepayers in cases where the rating assessment of the appeal property had previously been agreed by the ratepayer concerned. The appeals that were struck out were considered by the Tribunal to be an abuse of process, and to have no chance of success in the light of the earlier agreements in respect of the properties concerned. But an appeal by a new ratepayer in respect of one of these properties was not struck out, because the new ratepayer was not bound by the agreement made by its predecessor. Ratepayers seeking to make “interim agreements” will need to consider these cases carefully. ...Read More

September 2020 CPI figures

The September 2020 Consumer Prices' Index (CPI) figures have been published, and shows a 0.5% increase over previous year. This sets the upper limit for any increase in the Uniform Business Rates (UBR) for next rate year, 2021/22. In normal times next year's UBR would follow the increase in CPI. Ministers will have to consider the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the inflation figures, when setting the UBR for next year. Business will want some certainty on this at the earliest possible opportunity. ...Read More

Proposals to alter 2010 rating lists were made out of time

The Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) has considered proposals made following the coming into force of the Rating (Property in Common Occupation) and Council Tax (Empty Dwellings) Act 2018 and the amended regulations which followed it. The Act was intended to reverse the effects of the decision of the UK Supreme Court in Woolway (VO) v Mazars LLP [2015] and allow units of property that were contiguous and were occupied together to be merged to form a single hereditament for rating purposes. The regulations introduced following the coming into force of the Act allowed proposals to be made to alter the 2010 rating lists, which would otherwise have been out of time. The question before the Tribunal was whether the proposals made in these cases came within that category. ...Read More