A recent Court of Appeal decision has potentially far reaching implications for rate payers who undertake schemes of work intended to refurbish and improve their properties.
In Newbigin (VO) v S J & J Monk , the Court of Appeal found that the assumption that, for rating valuation purposes, a property is assumed to be in a reasonable state of repair, even where the disrepair is as a consequence of works of stripping out to refurbish and improvement the property.
The only exception to this is where a reasonable landlord would consider the repairs to be uneconomic. The Court has overturned the Upper Tribunal’s decision that the replacement of the electrical, heating and air conditioning systems, which had been entirely removed, went beyond the meaning of repair.
It is expected that the VOA will apply this precedent as far and wide as possible. In the short-term it is likely that anything short of a demolition and rebuild will be resisted.