Checking and Challenging Rateable Values – through to Appeal

Business Rates appeals are a core element of GL Hearn’s Business Rates advice and form an integral part of our wider Corporate Advisory service. Our strengths lie not only in the savings we achieve, but also the value we add in terms of information analysis and the quality of our team.

GL Hearn is at the forefront of driving rate savings through the appeals process; providing robust strategies and prioritising opportunities to reduce assessments, managing risks and understanding where savings are most likely to be delivered.

We have one of the largest and most experienced valuer teams that specialises across various property sectors. Operating in dedicated, property-focused teams, we are able to add considerable value in terms of engaging with VOA representatives and agreeing frameworks of valuation as well as challenging individual Rateable Values.  

The process of contesting rating assessments of commercial properties in England underwent significant change in 2017. After over 25 years of relative stability in the appeals system, the Valuation Office introduced a new, mandatory, three stage process of Check Challenge and Appeal. This came into force on 1st April 2017.

At GL Hearn we recognised the potential benefits of the new digital system, but also the many challenges that it presented in its incomplete state. Our customers have rightly looked to us to embrace new developments in the appeal process and we have the skills and experience to help clients navigate through the new regime.

We have been at the forefront of consulting with and influencing the Valuation Office and HMRC representatives to try and improve the system for the benefit of our clients. Whilst still “work in progress” we continue to liaise with these stakeholders together with professional colleagues across the industry to drive forwards improvements to the new digital appeal system.  

In particular GL Hearn has participated in discussions via the RICS/IRRV/RSA E-Comms forum, which we Chair, to implement an Application Programme Interface (API), between existing developed software applications, and the new digital VOA Check and Challenge service. We were the first firm to submit a “Check” electronically and we are now in a position to submit multiple Checks across our client’s portfolios once we have formulated a robust appeal strategy.

We can help you to

  • Register for the Valuation Office Online Service as owner or occupier
  • Create your personal record and satisfy the security requirements
  • Claim multiple properties on your behalf to obtain valuations
  • Prepare strategies to contest Rateable Values, and through CCA,
  • Achieve savings and mitigate your rates liability
  • Take appeals through the process and, where necessary, appear at Valuation Tribunal to argue our client’s case.

Business Rates appeals in Wales

The Welsh Assembly have not yet decided to change the appeals system in line with CCA in England. There have been a number of recent consultations on future change and GL Hearn participate in the rate-payers forum to help advise our clients on any new requirements. In the meantime we have been submitting appeals across our client’s Welsh portfolios based on our robust strategies.