Commercial Rates Revaluation Guide 2012 01.05.2012Dublin City Council, Waterford and Limerick City and County Councils and Dungarvan Town Council are currently being revalued for commercial rates purposes, the outcome of which could have a significant impact on occupiers’ future rates liabilities. Outlined below is a brief summary of the rating system, a table highlighting the approximate relevant dates together with our recommendations. The rateable valuation process can be summarised as follows: At present, the Valuation Office is inspecting a selection of properties in the various councils however, the majority of properties will not be inspected. Approximately 30,000 commercial properties are to be valued, with 25,000 in Dublin alone. Occupiers have only 28 days from the date of the Proposed Valuation Certificate to make representations to the Valuation Office. Proposed Valuation Certificates are sent directly to the property being valued and in our experience the 28 day timeline can be missed if; (a) the property is vacant (b) local managers fail to recognise the Certificate’s importance or fail to pass it to the relevant person within an organisation (c) A short term tenant ignores it, potentially leaving the landlord with a larger future liability. Following written representations, discussions generally take place between the Valuation Office and the occupier’s agent. Should agreement not be reached following representations, occupiers are entitled to make an appeal to an Appeal Officer; again strict timelines apply (40 days). The Valuation Office will require an administrative fee for the appeal ranging from €60 to €375 depending on the value of a property. The above fee is refundable in the event of securing a reduction on the valuation. Finally should there be any unresolved issues, a final stage of appeal is available to the Valuation Tribunal with a right to appeal a Tribunal decision to the High and Supreme Courts on legal matters only. The approximate relevant dates for the current revaluations are; Recommendations: We recommend that occupiers appoint an agent with full knowledge of the rating process and significant experience in successfully obtaining rates savings for their clients. In this regard Colliers has unparalleled experience, having recently secured significant rates savings for small, medium and large, retail, office and industrial occupiers including Microsoft, Glaxo Smith Kline, TK Maxx, H Samuel, French Connection, A-Wear, Domino’s Pizza and Holland and Barrett. Notably, in our experience, the most critical aspect of the rating process is ensuring that the strict timelines are met. In the event of missing the various timelines, the rateable valuation is set and occupiers have limited rights of appeal. As such, we recommend that all correspondence from the Valuation Office be redirected directly to your agent to reduce the risk of missing the deadlines. Conclusion: If you have not already retained a valuer, Colliers International would be very pleased to act on your behalf as we have a strong track record in achieving significant savings for our clients and would be delighted to assist in minimising your rates liability. If you have any queries in relation to the above or require a fee quote, please contact George Saurin, Head of Advisory Service in Colliers International on 01 6333 755.