A recent announcement by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) and
draft regulations released by the Department for Communities and
Local Government (DCLG) are set to introduce changes that are
likely to increase business rates while reducing the opportunities
for ratepayers to appeal.
Announcement by the VOA
The VOA has announced that, following last year's Supreme
Court decision in Woolway (VO) v. Mazars LLP  UKSC
53, it will be changing the way in which it values non-domestic
properties with more than one occupier for the purposes of business
rates. Those affected are likely to see an increase in their
business rates bill.
In summary, where an occupier uses two or more distinct spaces
within a building which are not contiguous or interconnected and
can only be accessed via the common parts (for example, floors 2
and 4 of a multi-let office block), the VOA will treat those areas
as separate premises for the purposes of calculating business
rates. Previously such areas would have been treated as one set of
premises and assessed for rates accordingly.
will be backdated to the more recent
of i) 1 April 2015 in England or 1 April 2010 in Wales and ii) the
date the ratepayer became an occupier;
may result in an increase in business
rates even though there has been no change to the underlying floor
areas or nature of the occupation;
apply equally to unconnected adjacent
units – for example, two adjacent industrial units on an
estate where there is no access from one to the other except via a
will likely result in adjoining
floors in an office being separately assessed for ratings purposes;
may affect how business space is let
and structured in the future. For example, an owner-occupier of a
multistorey building may be reluctant to let any unused floor space
due to the additional ratings liability this will attract.
Further changes are on the horizon for ratepayers in England as
the Government is seeking consultation on the proposed regulations
that will implement Check, Challenge, Appeal ahead of the 2017
revaluation. The Government is proposing that the Valuation
Tribunal for England (VTE) should only change the rateable value
where it is found to be "outside the bounds of reasonable
professional judgment". This is a considerably higher
threshold than the current approach where the VTE determines what
the valuation should be.
If the proposals are implemented it is likely that:
appeals will be significantly less
successful overall and those which do proceed are likely to take
longer, particularly if the new approach is challenged in the
a valuation that falls within a broad
valuation range will not be altered;
the margin of error protection
afforded to the VOA will result in increased business rates
liability for occupiers; and
the onus will be on the ratepayer to
demonstrate why a valuation is outside the bounds of reasonable
professional judgment with limited visibility in respect of the
data on which the VOA has based its valuation.
The DCLG proposals can be found here and the consultation closes on 11 October
Dentons is the world's first polycentric global law firm. A
top 20 firm on the Acritas 2015 Global Elite Brand Index, the Firm
is committed to challenging the status quo in delivering consistent
and uncompromising quality and value in new and inventive ways.
Driven to provide clients a competitive edge, and connected to the
communities where its clients want to do business, Dentons knows
that understanding local cultures is crucial to successfully
completing a deal, resolving a dispute or solving a business
challenge. Now the world's largest law firm, Dentons'
global team builds agile, tailored solutions to meet the local,
national and global needs of private and public clients of any size
in more than 125 locations serving 50-plus countries.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
The event will be attended by hundreds of students and representatives from top Italian and international law firms, who will have the opportunity to meet and discuss. For many students this will be the very first approach with the legal professional world, and for us it will be a great occasion to meet the young talents of the future.
Dentons is sponsoring the conference titled “Non-performing loans market, between demand and offer” organized by SDA Bocconi School of Management, one of the most prestigious business schools in the world.
The conference will be dedicated to present the results of an innovative and extensive research on the non-performing loans market, by making a clear distinction between demand and offer. The research tackles problems and opportunities perceived by the operators dealing with the NPL market.
The seminar will take place on 31 March 2017. It aims to provide German companies with an overview of the latest developments in relation to insurance coverage, banking transactions and legal aspects of doing business with Iran.
The choice of procurement route is vitally important to the success of any construction project. A number of different procurement routes exist but what are the essential ingredients of each and what are their relative advantages and disadvantages? This article discusses the differences between two of those procurement routes: general contracting and design and build.
Bonds, guarantees, performance security or whatever they are called form an important part of every major international contract. Despite this, there are a regular number of cases, in many different jurisdictions, where the courts are asked to decide what the nature of the particular project security actually is.
For well over a hundred years it has been standard practice for contract administrators to be used on construction contracts. Architects have been engaged to supervise and manage building contracts and engineers engineering contracts. More recently, project managers and construction managers have undertaken similar roles under new forms of contract.
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).