Business owners who feel that their non-domestic rates bills are unfairly high should seek professional advice without delay. The point was powerfully made by the case of a determined hotel owner who successfully argued that the valuation of his premises for rating purposes should be reduced by more than 70 per cent.
The owner objected after the 15-bedroom hotel was entered into the 2017 rating list at a rateable value of £59,000. A local authority valuation officer took heed of his complaint and reduced that figure, first to £56,000, then to £54,000 and finally to £31,000. The owner, however, remained convinced that the premises had been overvalued and took his case before the Upper Tribunal (UT).
Upholding his challenge and reducing the premises' rateable value to £16,250, the UT employed a valuation method that was primarily based on the level of annual receipts that a reasonably efficient operator of the hotel could fairly be expected to maintain. The UT noted that the case demonstrated what could be achieved by a tenacious and persistent business owner.