*Telereal Trillium v Hewitt (Valuation Officer)

Land – Rates. The valuation officer's appeal was upheld in a case concerning the correct approach to the determination of the rateable value of the respondent's office building in Blackpool, in circumstances where the evidence, at the relevant time, showed a general demand in the area for comparable office buildings, but no actual tenant willing to pay a positive price for the building itself. The valuation officer had initially assessed the rateable value of the property at £490,000, based on other office buildings of similar age and quality, occupied by public sector tenants at rents of the same order. However, the Valuation Tribunal for England (the VTE) had reduced the rateable value to £1. The Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) had allowed the valuation's officer's appeal, in circumstances where the parties had agreed that no-one in the real world would have been prepared to occupy the property and pay a positive price at the material valuation date. However, the VTE's assessment of the value at £1 had been restored on appeal. The Supreme Court restored the decision of the UT which had held that the correct approach required the rateable value to be assessed by reference to the general demand, as evidenced by the occupation of other office properties with similar characteristics.

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