Supreme Court Ruling:
Property owners and developers have welcomed the Supreme Court’s ruling in a Landmark business rates case when deciding that properties undergoing redevelopment should be valued at a lower rate.
The case involved the amount of business rates payable on properties undergoing substantial redevelopment and involved SJ&J Monk, a property developer of a three-storey office building that was undergoing major renovation and refurbishment.
Back in January 2012 the premises was empty, stripped to its shell and the developer proposed to have the property description altered to that of ‘building undergoing reconstruction’ and the rateable value reduced to £1 as the property could not be occupied due to the building works. An Appeal court ruling overturned this established concept back in 2015.
However, the Supreme Court has this week overturned this and agreed the developer should not have been charged business rates on a property as if it were capable of occupation when undergoing refurbishment. This will not only mean a reduced rates bill in this case, but will reduce business rates bills for other property developers in the same situation.
This outcome is excellent news for property developers who have been paying £millions on rates for buildings undergoing redevelopment or refurbishment. It is now hoped that the Valuation Office will move swiftly to settle the thousands of outstanding appeals awaiting this decision.