Information for Rating Agents and Surveyors

We are happy to help with enquiries from rating agents and surveyors, as long as the query is accompanied by a letter of authority from the ratepayer.

The most popular queries are listed below. If you need to ask anything else, please contact us.

Audits of charges

We have received requests from some agents to provide full details of charges and other account information for numerous properties, going back many years (in some cases back to 1990).

Unfortunately, we simply do not have the resources required to fulfil such “blanket” requests. In many if not most instances, we would expect rating agents to be able to calculate charges correctly based on information obtained from the Valuation Office Agency, their clients own records, and the many software packages available.

However, if you feel we have made an error in calculating your client’s liability, provide us with the specific details, including your own calculations, and we will do our best to assist.

Credits

Our policy is to refund overpayments (whether for rateable value changes or otherwise) as soon as possible after they have arisen.

In some cases, we will offset an overpayment against other debts the ratepayer may have with the Council.

Empty property allowances

Our policy is that any requests for allowances (whether by the ratepayer or their agents) for empty periods should be made at the time, so that we will have the opportunity to inspect the property in question.

We will consider backdated requests only in exceptional circumstances, and then only if appropriate documentary evidence is provided.

Closures due to structural issues may qualify for an empty property allowance, but requests for allowances for very short periods (e.g. for cosmetic reasons or minor refurbishments) will normally be refused.

Section 44A Requests

We do utilise our discretion to grant relief under Section 44A LGFA 1988, particularly to reflect periods of partial occupation, and progressive occupation/vacation. However, the relief can be allowed only in situations which are temporary in nature.

It is our policy to carry out site inspections in all such cases, hence we cannot consider backdated applications for Section 44A relief.

If you wish to make such an application on your client’s behalf, please write to us with full details, including the reason for the request, the timescale(s) involved, and a plan of the area(s) concerned.

Valuation Office Agency updates to the rating list

Charge adjustments and/or refunds are normally processed within 20 working days of the date the VOA altered the list.

Revised accounts are then issued together with interest calculation statements, and refunds (if applicable) are normally made a few days later.

If you wish to check whether an alteration and/or refund has been processed, and 20 working days have expired since the alteration date, please contact us quoting the relevant details i.e. date of alteration and effective date.