Shepherd Chartered Surveyors is urging all commercial property occupiers to act now before it’s too late to lodge a rates appeal before the 30 September deadline.
Occupiers now have less than two months to lodge an appeal – or be stuck with their current rates valuation for another five years. And given that the date at which the assessor last set a rateable value coincided with the onset of the recession, Shepherd is advising occupiers that it is in their best interests to lodge an appeal.
The 2010 rates revaluation means that all commercial properties were revalued from 1 April 2010. The rateable value reflects the assessor’s opinion of the rentals and building costs associated with each property as at 1 April 2008 – the ‘tone date’ upon which all rates calculations are based.
Alan J McKenna, Head of Rating at Shepherd said, “Given that the 2008 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. That’s why 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 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.”
An added incentive for occupiers to lodge an appeal this year is the fact that the Scottish government has abolished transitional relief at this revaluation, though this will continue to apply south of the border, which means that ratepayers will, despite the recession, be obliged to pay the full amount with no scheme in place to minimise the financial impact of revaluation.
Every commercial property – from a corner shop to a football stadium – is subject to a rates revaluation every five years. Revaluation Notices were issued by the assessors earlier this year. These indicated 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.
The majority of commercial property occupiers and owners lodge appeals automatically with the assessor to ensure that the valuation approach is discussed and ultimately altered if necessary to reflect the true facts of the individual property.
Failure to lodge an appeal by the end of September means that the appeal will not be accepted and rates payments will be based on the Assessors’ Rateable Value without giving occupiers an opportunity to negotiate.
Mr McKenna said, “Rating is a tax and one of the unusual benefits of rating is that the assessor is open to appeals and negotiations with ratepayers or their advisors with a view to reaching a mutually agreed assessment.
“Of course rating is a specialist subject and it is usually very worthwhile for occupiers to appoint a professional agent to act on their behalf to advise on such matters as the appeal process, comparison with other properties and the treatment of unoccupied properties.”
Occupiers seeking advice on how to lodge an appeal should contact Alan McKenna at Shepherd on 0141 331 2807.
For further information please contact Alan McKenna Shepherd tel 0141 331 2807
Issued on behalf of Shepherd by Liquorice Media tel 0141 564 8058
Date 30th July 10