For a variety of reasons rating assessments of non-domestic property may be inaccurate or inappropriate. Initially the service involves assessing the potential for reduction. If a reduction appears to be justified, preparation and submission of an appeal may be made on behalf of the client.
Negotiations are commenced with the Valuation Office of the Inland Revenue as they are responsible for the assessment of rateable values nationally.
Settlement of appeals are often reached by negotiation but in the absence of a negotiated settlement the client may request a hearing at the Local Valuation Tribunal for determination. If it is felt that the Valuation Tribunal decision is unsatisfactory the matter can be referred for appeal to the Lands Tribunal.
Subsequent to any reduction in assessment, the clients non-domestic rate account may be adjusted or alternatively a refund payment received from the Local Authority. Calculations of credit against the account or refunds is complex and assistance can be provided.
Owners and Tenants of property may find themselves subject to threats of service or Compulsory Purchase Orders. These are rare but can have a very significant impact on the clients interest in property.
Acquiring authorities will serve Compulsory Purchase Orders where they feel it is necessary to acquire land for regeneration development or public infrastructure works. Examples may include highway construction or town centre regeneration.
The acquiring authority, for example a Local Authority, may notify occupiers of their proposals in advance of service of a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO). This can result in a negotiated settlement without the need for a CPO. Where a negotiated settlement cannot be reached a CPO may be served and this triggers the formal process of acquisition by the acquiring authority. We can advise the client and liaise with the clients solicitor during the legal process, making recommendations as to the basis of claim whether this be by way of compensation for market value or reinstatement of the clients property to a suitable alternative location. There are a number of bases upon which a claim can be pursued and it is important to establish the correct base from the outset.
Negotiations with the acquiring authority are conducted within the framework of the Compulsory Purchase Order procedure with various heads of claim being submitted on behalf of the client. Settlement of claims are usually reached by negotiation with the acquiring authority. If negotiations do not produce satisfactory settlement of claim, an appeal can be made to the Lands Tribunal.
Professional fees incurred by the client during the CPO procedure also form part of the claim against the acquiring authority often results in the majority of, if not all, professional fees and costs being reimbursed to the client.