Scottish Grocer & Convenience Retailer

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‘Impossible’ rate appeals need rethink

A ruling in 2013 has left ratepayers in a tough situation, says Colliers.

COMMERCIAL property specialist Colliers International has called on the Scottish Government to adopt a more flexible system for mid-revaluation business rates appeals.
The firm has called attention to an earlier court case which it said “significantly limits the scope” of ratepayers’ rights to appeal.
Colliers reckons business owners in Scotland are faced with a “significantly more onerous” appeal process than those south of the border, following the ruling in the case of Schuh Limited and others v Assessor for Glasgow in November 2013.
In that case, a group of Sauchiehall Street retailers unsuccessfully tried to have their rates reduced to reflect the lower rental value of their shops following the recession, with the Lands Valuation Appeal Court ruling altering the scope of “Material Change of Circumstances” – a legal lever which could be deployed in a rates appeal.
Louise Daly of Colliers International said Scottish businesses “have far less chance of successfully appealing should their circumstances change for the worse between revaluations.
“It’s practically impossible for Scottish businesses to successfully appeal their valuations beyond the brief six-month initial window.”

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