Freeze in Uniform Business Rate multipliers for 2021/22 confirmed

The Local Government Finance Act 1988 (Non-Domestic Rating Multipliers) (England) Order 2021 confirms that the Uniform Business Rate multiplier for 2021/20 in England will be frozen at it current level of 49.9 pence. The Order confirms an announcement made as part of the Autumn Statement last year, but will offer little real assistance to ratepayers struggling under the burden of the current lockdown in England ...Read More

Rating assessment not deleted as works had not commenced

The Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) has dismissed an appeal made by a ratepayer seeking deletion of the rating assessment of a property that was to be redeveloped because, at the relevant date, the works to alter and redevelop the property had not commenced and it was still capable of beneficial occupation. The Upper Tribunal’s decision reminds ratepayers and others that it is works that render a property incapable of beneficial occupation, rather than an intention to redevelop, that dictate when a property should be deleted from the rating list. ...Read More

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. ...Read More

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

No reinstatement of rateable value following works of alteration

The Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) has dismissed an appeal by the Valuation Officer against a refusal by the Valuation Tribunal for England to delete the assessment of a warehouse property for a temporary period only, during works of alteration. The Upper Tribunal found that the Valuation Tribunal for England had been correct to refuse to exercise a discretionary power to make an order which would result in the rating list being significantly inaccurate, when it had been within the power of the Valuation Officer to enter an accurate valuation and he had failed to do so within the period allowed. ...Read More

Rating revaluation in Scotland postponed to 2023

The Scottish Government has published its “Programme for Scotland 2020-2021” which includes an announcement that the rating revaluation that was due to take effect in Scotland from 1 April 2022 has been postponed to 1 April 2023, and will be based on property values at 1 April 2022. The Scottish Government’s move realigns the revaluation date in Scotland with those in England and Wales, but bases its valuations on property values at 1 April 2022, rather than on 1 April 2021 as in England and Wales. ...Read More

Rating revaluation in Wales postponed to 2023

The Minister for Finance in the Welsh Assembly Government, Rebecca Evans MS, has announced that the rating revaluation that was proposed to come into force in Wales on 1 April 2021, has been postponed. The revaluation will, instead, come into force on 1 April 2023 and will to be based on rental values at 1 April 2021. The Minister’s statement says that “postponing the revaluation to 2023 will mean that the rateable values on which rates bills are based will better reflect the impact of COVID-19". The move mirrors a similar change in England, announced in the Spring Budget. ...Read More