Ratepayers should be aware that where alterations are being made to a property, it does not necessarily mean that the rateable value of the property will be removed or even reduced.
The distinction has to be drawn between what might be construed by the Valuation Office as property undergoing repair, as opposed to a property undergoing reconstruction or redevelopment. The Valuation Office will review the programme of works being undertaken.
Under the statutory definition of rateable value, a property is assumed to be in a reasonable state of repair. Any works undertaken which accord with that definition are to be ignored.
Ratepayers should avoid attempts to escape unoccupied rates by causing or allowing the state of a property to change through what is known as constructive vandalism or soft stripping, as powers are available through the Secretary of State to prevent rates avoidance in such a manner.