Lothian Valuation Joint Board

Electoral Registration, Valuation and Council Tax within Lothian

Valuation Appeals

All appeals to the Assessor must be in writing. They can also be lodged online at www.saa.gov.uk

Rateable Values are defined by the Valuation for Rating (Scotland) Act 1956 as:

The net annual value of any lands and heritages shall be the rent at which the lands and heritages might reasonably be expected to let from year to year if no grassum or consideration other than rent were payable in respect of the lease and if the tenant undertook to pay all rates and to bear the cost of the repairs and insurance and the other expenses, if any, necessary to maintain the lands and heritages in a state to command that rent.

Rateable Values are provided to the local authority to allow them to calculate rates payable for your property.  Rate poundages and rate reliefs are decided by the Scottish Government.

If you disagree with the Rateable Value shown on your Valuation Notice, or if you feel that events have taken place which have had an effect on the existing Rateable Value of your property, then you should first of all contact the Assessor. The Assessor can advise on whether you have valid appeal rights at any particular time.

writing letterIf you cannot agree with the Assessor on what your Rateable Value should be, you have the right to make a formal appeal. This must be done in writing and usually within 6 months of receipt of the Valuation Notice, or within 6 months of acquiring an interest in the property, such as becoming the owner or tenant. Even after making your appeal, you can still discuss your case with the Assessor on an informal basis to try to reach an agreement. You must continue to pay the rates demanded until your appeal is decided but if your appeal is successful, you may receive interest on any amount which you have overpaid.

You may wish to appoint someone to intimate the appeal and negotiate with the Assessor on your behalf. Please take care if you are considering such a step. Certain business rates advisers have, in the past, provided clients with a poor standard of service. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Institute of Revenues, Rating and Valuation (IRRV) have jointly produced a leaflet providing advice on this issue. If you would like a copy of this leaflet or advice on professionally recognised rating advisers, contact the RICS Helpline on 0207 222 7000.

Appeal meeting roomShould agreement with the Assessor not be reached, your case will proceed for hearing before the local Valuation Appeal Committee. The Committee comprises a chairperson and between 3 and 6 members. They are all unpaid, completely independent of the Assessor and have no prior knowledge of your case. A paid secretary who is usually a solicitor assists the Committee. The secretary does not take any part in reaching a decision in your case but is there to advise on legal matters and may take part in the hearing.

Cases which are complicated or highly technical or which raise major questions of principle or law can be referred to the Lands Tribunal for Scotland as an alternative to being heard by the local Committee. Procedures for requesting such a referral are explained on the Valuation Notice. A final right of appeal exists to the Lands Valuation Appeal Court which is a Division of the Court of Session.

All appeal procedures are set out in detail in The Valuation Appeal Committee (Procedures in Appeals under the Valuation Acts) (Scotland) Regulations 1995 (S.I. No 572/1995). Copies may be obtained at main public libraries, at The Stationary Office bookshops, or online via www.opsi.gov.uk. Procedure in appeals to the Lands Valuation Appeal Court is governed by regulations (Act of Sederunt) made by the Court of Session.