In this section you should be able to find answers to the most common questions about life in Santon. As we collect more questions and answers they will be added here.
A Rates Valuation
Rates are primarily a tax on the occupation of property, therefore a rating valuation is firstly determined by reference to a gross value which is, briefly, the annual rental value on the basis that the property is ‘vacant and to let’, with a hypothetical tenant to pay the rates and a hypothetical landlord to carry out any repairs necessary to maintain the property in a state to command that rent. This basis applies irrespective of whether the property is owner/occupied or rented and is known as the ‘hypothetical tenancy’. The authority for the foregoing is the Rating and Valuation Act 1953.
To arrive at a rateable value a fixed statutory deduction is made from the gross value under the authority of the Fourth Schedule to the Rating and Valuation Act 1953. For example, ‘dwelling-houses and other buildings, or other buildings only’, get a ‘20% or one-fifth, deduction. ‘Other buildings’ applies to commercial and non-factory property, as factories are allowed a higher statutory deduction of 33 1/3% or one third’.
The present levels of gross value (annual rent) that are applied to all categories of rateable property are based upon rental evidence obtained, analysed, adjusted to fit the statutory definition, and then used for the general all Island rates revaluation that was completed circa 1971/72. Rental information for the period 1968 to 1970 established a ‘tone of the list’ to which all new or altered property is subsequently related and which will stay in place until there is a revaluation.
A ratepayer or rating authority can appeal against a gross value (annual rental value) but not directly against a rateable value, although the latter determines the actual rate poundage paid, by the application of the various rates in the £ as a multiplier against it. A ratepayer or rating authority, aggrieved by the incorrectness or unfairness of a valuation may lodge an objection in writing to the Treasury which, if not settled by agreement with the Valuation Office, will be forwarded to the Rent and Rating Appeal Commissioners for a formal hearing – the authority for this is sections 24 and 26, Rating and Valuation Act 1953.
Anything that would adversely affect a rental value on a property can reduce a rates gross value and thereby the rateable value, subject to the Valuation Acts 1953 to 1991 and the valuation rules. There are a wide number of factors that can be taken into account in arriving at a gross value prior to the rateable value being fixed by a predetermined statutory deduction.
Permanent allowances are generally those established at the time of the 1971/72 revaluation based upon rental evidence at that time, or fixed by quasi-judicial decision via the appeal system, or by established rating case law based upon interpretation of rating legislation. Such examples would be downward rental adjustments (of the gross value) for rural location; access problems; category and size of the property; layout of the accommodation; age of the building; lack of basic amenities (bath, toilet, mains water, electricity); permanent nuisance that affects occupation; agricultural domestic occupancy allowance (agricultural outbuildings exempt).
Temporary downward rental adjustments can be given provided that there is a disability that will persist for the greater part of a rating year and that there is a sufficiently serious degree of disability, for example, new estate building work; associated unmade roads and lack of street lighting; severe flooding; a property incapable of rateable occupation due to alteration work or due to it’s condition being beyond reasonable landlord repair under the hypothetical tenancy – properties are always taken to be in reasonable repair as per the statutory definition of gross value unless there are exceptional circumstances, a lack of maintenance would not produce a lower gross value.
Although rates are a tax on the occupation of property, more usually paid by the occupier although sometimes by the owner, the Rating and Valuation (Amendment) Act 1991 abolished rates relief for unoccupied property and therefore all unoccupied property that is capable of rateable occupation will receive a rates demand whether occupied or not. The fact that a property is unoccupied would not affect the gross value save in one exceptional circumstance; if a property is incapable of rateable occupation after reasonable landlord repairing expense, under the statutory hypothetical tenancy, then the rates valuation may be temporarily reduced to zero until the work is completed.
Any further explanation or amplification regarding the contents of the foregoing can be obtained by contacting the Treasury Valuation Office (685658).
Valuation Office 4 July 2001