Appealing your rateable value
Appeals against rateable values can be made free of charge.
Ratepayers who do wish to be represented should be aware that members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Institute of Revenues Rating and Valuation are qualified and are regulated by rules of professional conduct designed to protect the public from misconduct.
Take great care and, if necessary, seek further advice before entering into any contract.
'Cowboy' rating advisers may be cold calling in your area offering big savings in your business rate bill. These operators are unlikely to be professionally qualified and often make fraudulent promises to secure large reductions in your rates bill so as to obtain early payments from you of up to several hundred pounds.
Once you've paid them you are unlikely to be able to seek redress, except through the courts, and an ill considered appeal could even increase your rates bill.
Four claims to check:
- "We have a team of qualified professionals". Do they? Check the firm and the individuals with the professional bodies listed below
- "We have achieved by % reductions for several clients". Demand the names and telephone numbers of past clients and ring them to check
- "We can get huge % reductions on your property". If they make these claims before making a full investigation of your property, they may be 'cowboys'
- "You will have nothing to pay unless we succeed". Whatever their salesman may say, demand to see a copy of their contract
Be careful if the contract entitles the firm to a percentage of the reduction in Rateable Value. This may not necessarily lead to a saving in the rates you have to pay.
Free advice can be obtained from the RICS helpline number 020 7222 7000.