The 2017 rating list for non-domestic properties in England, Wales & Scotland came into effect on 1 April 2017. The revaluation has seen some significant rateable value changes across the country although this will depend on property sector & location. It also signals a completely different and much more demanding appeal system in England – Check, Challenge, Appeal. The Welsh Government has yet to decide whether these changes will be adopted from 2018. This will place a substantial burden on the ratepayer to provide accurate and detailed information to support a case for a lower rateable value.
Cooke & Arkwright's work on the current 2010 rating list has yielded savings in rate payments in excess of £60 million.
The new assessments can be viewed here or alternatively please call us for informaion and advice.
Check, Challenge, Appeal
There is concern that the changes will make it much harder for businesses to challenge their rating assessment. A possible three year commitment is required and it will be impossible to determine whether the new assessments are correct and fair without committing substantial time and information up-front.
The three stage process is as follows:
Check - An initial administrative enquiry with both parties exchanging factual details to establish that the property’s rating assessment is based on accurate and up-to-date facts. Where it is not possible to agree facts, the disputed matters will be established. Civil penalties for careless, reckless or knowing provision of false information have been proposed.
Time scale: up to 12 months
Challenge – The requirements of this stage are substantial and must be initiated within four months of the check stage. The ratepayer and the rating surveyor must provide grounds for the challenge with supporting evidence, including comparable rental evidence, to challenge the rating assessment. Following the VOA’s response and a reply by the ratepayer the Valuation Officer will issue a decision on whether the rating list will be changed.
Time scale: up to 18 months
Appeal – If the challenge remains unresolved the ratepayer has the opportunity to appeal to the Valuation Tribunal which will consider and give a final decision. There is a proposed fee of £150-£300 payable to the VOA for an appeal.
Time scale: up to 4 months
It is clear that early preparation and gathering of evidence is crucial to provide the information to the VOA under this new three stage process.
Therefore, having early professional representation is paramount in order to produce a reasoned case for a reduced business rate assessment and to enable accurate future budgeting for the forthcoming years.
For an in depth analysis of the new business rates proposal please click the following link Check, Challenge Appeal