An ongoing two year long series of negotiations by Shepherd Chartered Surveyors has to date resulted in a refund of £189,000 in rates relief from a city council finance department in relation to a client’s property portfolio comprising more than 30 retail and industrial properties.
According to Alan J McKenna, Head of Rating at Shepherd, this case highlights the fact that there are other avenues than formal appeals which can lead to substantial repayment of rates.
He said, “The upcoming Rating Revaluation means that preparation for the new Revaluation Notices and the lodging of appeals to the assessor are the main focus of attention in the rating world.
“ I would urge all commercial property occupiers to take advantage of the one in five year chance to lodge a rates appeal – particularly since the date at which the assessor bases the 2010 rateable values coincided with the onset of the recession – but would emphasise that there are means by which clients can achieve significant rates repayments.”
The forthcoming 2010 rates revaluation means that all commercial properties will be revalued from 1 April 2010. The rateable value reflects the assessor’s analysis of the rentals and building costs associated with each property as at 1 April 2008 – the ‘tone date’ upon which all rates valuations are based.
Mr McKenna, said, “Given that the tone date fell within a period of financial upheaval within the UK, when the recession began to take hold, this effectively meant that the assessors were valuing commercial properties against a background of rapidly changing commercial property values. Consequently, it seems likely that many property occupiers will have a particularly strong basis upon which to lodge an appeal.
“Occupiers have until the end of September 2010 to lodge an appeal against rateable value but, if they don’t, they’re stuck with the assessor’s proposal for the next five years. It is essential, therefore, to submit a rates appeal to the assessor. We’ll be delighted to lodge an appeal on occupiers’ behalf and then enter into negotiations with the assessor with a view to minimising the impact of rates revaluation.”
Every commercial property – from a corner shop to a football stadium – is subject to a rates revaluation every five years. Revaluation Notices will be issued by the assessors in the next few weeks. These will indicate the new Rateable Value, which forms the basis of a rates charge and will apply for five years, unless it is successfully challenged by an appeal.
Said Mr McKenna, “Rating is a tax and one of the unusual benefits of rating is that the assessor is open to appeals and negotiations with ratepayers and/or their advisors with a view to reaching a mutually agreed assessment.”
For further information please contact Alan McKenna Shepherd tel 0141 331 2807
Issued on behalf of Shepherd by Liquorice Media tel 0141 561 4018
Date 12th February 2010