Rating list 2017: check, challenge and appeal

The Non-Domestic Rating (Alteration of Lists and Appeals) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2017 came into force on 1 April 2017. These Regulations set out the law around the new appeal process.  We are now developing this area of our web site to provide guidance and enable appeals against the 2017 rating list to be made.

Please note that before appeals can be made to the Tribunal, you (or your representative) must first have gone through the Check and Challenge stages with the Valuation Office Agency (VOA). In addition, either the VOA must have issued a final determination on the challenge, or 18 months or more elapsed since you made the challenge without a determination having been given.

We will be adding to this area of our web site but, in the meantime, if you have any queries on how to make an appeal against your 2017 rating assessment, please don’t hesitate to contact our offices, on 0300 123 2035.

The flow chart shows you the stages in making a rating list appeal and getting a Tribunal decision. Click on any of the blue boxes to find out more.

Appeals against the 2017 rating list image map

You must first contact the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) that assesses property for business rates. You have to go through the Check and Challenge stages before you can make an appeal.  You can find more information on the Government’s website by clicking here.

This is known as the Challenge stage. The VOA should send you their decision notice, telling you whether they agree to your proposal. When you receive that you have 4 months from the date of that notice to make an appeal. Or, if you do not receive a decision notice from the VOA within 18 months of serving your proposal you can appeal to the tribunal.

Please call us on 0300 123 2035 about making an appeal.

You will have already exchanged your evidence with the VOA.  It is important that you read the Standard Direction and the guidance as it sets out the limited circumstances in which you can submit new evidence. You will have received these with the notice of receipt we sent you, or you can read them in the Consolidated Practice Statement.

 

You could attend another hearing before yours to see what happens. Please contact us if you wish to do this.

 

You may decide not to carry on with your appeal at any time. If you do decide to withdraw your appeal, please let us know.

You may –

• request a postponement if you have an exceptional reason for not being able to attend on the day; or
• appoint a representative to present your case for you.

It is always better if you can come to the hearing so that you can answer any questions that the panel might have and so you can ask the other party questions. However, there are other options –

• Appeal heard in absence procedure.This is when you are not present at a hearing, though the other party, the VOA, is. The Tribunal decides the appeal on the documents you have exchanged with the VOA and your appeal form. If you want this to happen you must contact the Tribunal and the VOA at least two weeks before the hearing.

• The decision without hearing procedure. This is also known as a decision “on the papers”. In these cases, the parties have agreed that neither of them will be present at a hearing, and the Tribunal has agreed that this procedure can be used. A request to use this procedure should be made at the time the appeal is made.

The hearing is as informal as possible and we will try to put everyone at ease, but these are judicial proceedings and a degree of formality is inevitable.

The panel will follow a procedure set out in the Practice Statement (Model Procedure).

The panel will decide who will put their case first, but if you would prefer to give your case first or second, please let us know.

During the hearing:
• the panel will ask you and the VOA’s representative to present your cases;
• you will be able to ask questions of the VOA’s representative;
• the VOA’s representative will be able to ask you questions; and
• the panel and the clerk can ask questions of you and the VOA’s representative.

Before the panel retires to make its decision, it will ask you if you would like to summarise your case (in other words, go over the main points of your case again).

The panel will make its decision based on the evidence and argument presented to it, bearing in mind what the law (legislation and case law) allows. The panel will retire at the end of the hearing to deliberate and will call the clerk in to provide legal advice and to help draft the reasons for the decision. However, the clerk takes no part in the making of the decision.

The Tribunal’s decision is not announced at the hearing. We send you a decision notice, usually within one month of the hearing.

When we receive your appeal we send you a Notice of Acknowledgement, the Standard Direction and a guidance booklet

We set the date for your hearing and send you a Notice of Hearing

We may send you a Hearing Reminder Notice or we will contact you by phone/email

We send you a Notice of Decision and a guidance booklet

Relevant legislation

Local Government Finance Act 1988, gives the general law.

Rating (Valuation) Act 1999, explains what a rateable value is.

Valuation Tribunal for England (Council Tax and Rating Appeals) (Procedure) Regulations 2009  SI 2009 No 2269 as amended by SI 2011 No 434 and SI 2017 No 156

Non-Domestic Rating (Alteration of Lists and Appeals) (England) Regulations 2009  SI 2009 No 2268 as amended by SI 2017 No 155

These set out the rules under which we and the VOA’s valuation officer have to deal with any rating appeals.

Please remember that some parts of this legislation have changed and there may be further changes.  You will need to check that the legislation you use is up to date.  Larger public and law libraries hold copies of legislation.  You can also see legislation on the website www.legislation.gov.uk.

 

You first have to go through Check and Challenge stages with the VOA.

When you receive a decision notice from the VOA as a result of your Challenge, you can appeal to the independent Tribunal within four months of receiving the decision.

If you do not receive a decision from them and more than 18 months has passed since you made your Challenge you can appeal to the independent Tribunal.

Please phone on 0300 123 2035 for information on how to appeal.

You can find more information by looking at

You can get professional advice from members of:

We will list your case as soon as we can.

We aim to give you at least eight weeks’ notice of the hearing date, even though the regulations allow a minimum of 14 days’ notice or less in exceptional circumstances.

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With the notice of receipt of your appeal you will receive a standard direction. It is important that you read this and the Explanatory Commentary for details. You can find these in the Consolidated Practice Statement, which also sets out how the Tribunal works.

You can contact us at any time if you do not understand what you need to do. Please remember, however, that the Tribunal must remain impartial so any advice we give can only be general in nature and we cannot assist you in actually obtaining evidence in support of your case. We are not able to give advice as to whether or not your appeal will be successful or specific details as what evidence will or will not be persuasive in your case.