**Business Rates News**

Market - March 1st 2017

Finally some clarity has been provided for properties undergoing redevelopment or major refurbishment following a landmark Supreme Court ruling.

Earlier today the judgment was issued by the Supreme Court confirming that:

Properties undergoing redevelopment or major refurbishment are to be exempted from business rates payments while work is carried out.

In a unanimous judgement, the Supreme Court allowed an appeal by developer SJ & J Monk in relation to the renovation of an office building.

SJ & J Monk had argued that the building’s rateable value should be reduced from £102,000 to £1 while the building could not be occupied due to renovation works.

The Valuation Officer rejected the application to reduce the rateable value, a decision which was backed by the Court of Appeal in 2015.

However, in his ruling today, Lord Hodge decided that commercial buildings undergoing redevelopment or significant renovation should not be valued as if they are still usable.

Adam Walker Director of Crickmay commented that he was "delighted that common sense has finally prevailed after years of uncertainty which has caused so many clients financial pain and frustration. It is what everyone in the industry has been calling for following the previous Court of Appeal decision in 2015 which empowered the VOA to pretty much refuse any applications to take properties out of the rating list despite significant works being undertaken to improve stock or convert buildings to an alternative use." 

See https://www.supremecourt.uk/cases/docs/uksc-2015-0069-press-summary.pdf for further information or call Crickmay Chartered Surveyors for further information.

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