Altus Group, a real estate advisor with the UK’s largest ratings advisory practice, is handling around 1 in 5 of the appeals made so far under the new system.
Alex Probyn, president of UK business rates at Altus Group, said: “A key intention of Check Challenge Appeal was to create a more streamlined and modern system that deterred speculative appeals. In doing so, it was bound to cause dissatisfaction among those who felt deterred and I think all stakeholders understand this isn’t working as well as intended.”
“The new system requires compelling evidence to be assembled in advance by those trying to prove their case. That requires a different mindset and, ideally, access to relevant data. We are hopeful of working with the VOA to improve this system and have it work as intended. There are still process challenges and legacy attitudes to overcome, but it is possible to make it more efficient and allow the VOA to concentrate its resources on speedily correcting the most obvious errors.”
“Secondary legislation will be brought forward to allow the new appeals procedure to be used by those affected by the Staircase Tax under the 2010 Rating List. The system might find it harder to respond to the increase in volume that triggers, but the method of appeal will at least be consistent.”