Alex Probyn, president of UK business rates at Britain’s largest ratings advisor, Altus Group, said:
“The reality is that since April there has been a big push to clear appeals going back to the 2010 ratings list in order to get rebates spanning seven years back to business. Work on the revaluation is now starting in earnest which has allowed time for the ongoing improvements to the new system to be implemented and bed in.”
“The new regulations are here to stay and need more time to be made to work. While there remain genuine concerns in the ratings community, we believe the new regulations can be made to work through co-operation and anticipate the numbers rising dramatically in the new year as advisers assemble the evidence required.”
“I suspect the government is expecting substantially fewer appeals by the very design of a new system which is intended to capture and rectify errors and inconsistencies earlier in the process, but I don’t believe it will lead to substantially fewer assessments that need alteration. What I think would help is if the VOA provided more supporting evidence at the check stage, as this transparency would speed up certain disputes and reduce the need to progress certain appeals further.”
Altus Group is undertaking due diligence on more than 63,000 properties that could be subject to appeal against the 2017 valuation.
A Freedom of Information Request to the Office for Budget Responsibility from Altus Group reveals that English councils have made provision for an average of 3.2% of business rates receipts to be returned to ratepayers following successful appeals – a total of £4.5 billion over the next 5 years from 2017 to 2022.