01.12.2011The Fife Valuation Appeal Committee has issued its decision in an appeal case raised by retailers in the Mercat Shopping Centre in Kirkcaldy, challenging the significant increase in Rateable Values effective from 1 April 2010. The decision of this landmark case, co-ordinated by Colliers International and GL Hearn, on behalf of various occupiers and BNP Paribas Real Estate, acting on behalf of the landlords, is the first, albeit a major, step in ensuring depressed rents should be reflected in the Rateable Value. The Fife Assessor attempted to argue that he could not reflect depressed rental values that occurred in 2009, due to the wording of rating legislation. Brian Rogan, senior surveyor at Colliers International in Scotland, commented: “Common sense has prevailed. This is a test case, which is also the first step towards establishing that Rateable Values across Scotland correctly reflect the current economic conditions. If unchallenged, the decision will help both landlords and tenants in making premises more affordable and, potentially, stimulating economic activity.” The Fife Assessor has a 14-day period in which to lodge an appeal to The Lands Valuation Appeal Court. The 2010 Rating Revaluation came into force on 1 April 2010 and was based on rental values set in April 2008. A previous appeal by the tenants and landlords had been pursued against the 2005 Valuation Roll and reduced Rateable Values by 45 per cent effective from 1 September 2009. The Assessor issued the 2010 Valuation Roll, with rental values based on April 2008 rents, almost double those of September 2009, thus ignoring the Reduced Rateable Values established during 2009. The successful appeals will see the 2009 Rateable Values re-instated from 1st April 2010.