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April 2014 – Rating system update

The almost-promised re-writing of VTE Practice Statement A7.1, which was virtually complete, has been overtaken by the Goernment’s announcement of an overhaul to the rating system. The professional bodies have been busying themselves responding to a consultation, seeking, among other things, more openness from the VOA, and a return to an active role in valuation proceedings for billing authorities, now that “localism” is with us. The professional bodies are seeking to be realistic, and to achieve a balance which would enable VOA, VTS and VTE to cope with their workload in straitened circumstances, which would still enable he scheme and intent of Section 41 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 to be achieved, while discouraging appeals which might objectively be described as frivolous.

The EU Mortgage Directive must be implemented in member states within two years. This will allow those qualified IRRV or CAAV and accredited as Recognised European Valuers (“REV”) equal status in the mortgage valuation market with RICS Registered Valuers. It is believed that the scope of this recognition will be widened to other fields of valuation in the future, heading towards a general levelling of the playing field of valuation.

In other news, the case of S&J Monk –v- Keith Newbigin (Valuation Officer) [2014] UKUT 0014 (LC). was decided, late in February. It is important in the context of the deemed state of "reasoable repair”, with the Lands Chamber holding that, if a hereditament is, as a matter of fact, incapable of beneficial occupation at the material day, then it cannot be assumed to have been put into a state of “reasonable repair”. This has significant revenue loss repercussions for DCLG and local government; and it sems likely that the Agency will challenge the decision, whether wholly or in part, in the Court of Appeal.

Peter Scrafton FIRRV FCIArb MRSA (Hon) Solicitor (Non-Practising) and Accredited Mediator is a legal and valuation consultant and member of the IRRV Council.

©J.P. Scrafton, 2014

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