Company directors and financial officers should be planning now to review their draft rating revaluations when they are made public in October of this year advises Robert Gardner, a director of Chesterton Humberts, the property consultants. Gardner, who specialises in ratings appeals, highlights that businesses may be in for an unpleasant surprise as the new ratings are based on valuations done in April 2008 when the property market was in a very different state than it is now.
The draft valuations cannot be appealed until April 2010 when they become official, but owners will need to instruct specialists to review the rateable values and prepare appeals as soon as possible after the draft rating list appears, as an appeal can take months to complete and businesses will have to pay the disputed rates until a decision is made on the appeal.
Fortunately, as Gardner points out, “We undertake reviews on a success related fee basis. Unless we achieve a reduction, clients don’t have to pay us so there is every reason to consider an appeal.”
Gardner, who accepts clients with a minimum rateable value of £100,000, underscores that the government’s valuation officers have an enormous workload to cover which means they cannot always spend the time necessary on something as extensive as a large educational, health or leisure facility which may have a number of wings or outbuildings to take into account. Gardner and his team are able to undertake extensive scrutiny of client properties and provide compelling appeals which can result in substantial reductions in rates paid.
Recent successful appeals include:
- A West Country hospital with a £2,400,000 rateable value (RV) reduced to £1,750,000 RV, saving £550,000 in rate payments
- An hotel in Bath with a £375,000 RV reduced to £300,000 RV, saving £125,000 in rate payments
- A London college with a £350,000 RV, reduced to £320,000 RV, saving £67,000 in rate payments
- A London club with a £375,000 RV, reduced to £350,000 RV, saving £56,000 in rate payments
- A country club in Suffolk with a £333,000 RV, reduced to £272,000 RV, saving £129,000 in rate payments
- A marina in Southampton with a £495,500 RV, reduced to £276,500 RV, saving £164,000 in rate payments
For more information on the forthcoming rating revaluation or other rating issues, please contact Robert Gardner, director, Chesterton Humberts at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit