Valuation for rating - Appeal to Valuation Appeal Committee - Refusal to refer to Tribunal - Appeal to Lands Tribunal against that refusal - Lands Tribunal Act 1949, section 1(3BA) - Valuation Appeal Committee (Procedure in Appeals under the Valuation Acts) (Scotland) Regulations 1995, Regulation 4(1), (5) and 6(1)
This was an appeal under the provisions of Regulation 6(1) of the 1995 Regulations against the refusal of the Valuation Appeal Committee to refer to the Tribunal an appeal in respect of an entry relating to the B & Q Store at Abbotsinch Retail Park, Paisley. The main thrust of the appellants argument was that the subjects were of a size, range, format and character which were unusual in Scotland. There were approximately ten similar units in the country. It was argued that the analysis and interpretation of rental evidence derived from these units ought to be the primary approach to valuation. The assessor placed greater weight on evidence derived from local rental evidence.
In determining the appeal the Tribunal required to comment on the proper approach to be taken to appeals under Regulation 6(1). There could not be a full proof on the issue of complexity. If there was material to demonstrate a significant likelihood of appropriate complexity the Tribunal should proceed on the basis of impression without over rigorous analysis. It was recognised that Committees were capable of dealing with complex rating problems and whether a particular situation was "complex" within the meaning of the Regulation was a matter of degree. The same approach should be taken to the facts and to the expert opinion. The word had to be viewed in the context of legislation intended to identify circumstances where it is appropriate to use the Tribunal as a means of determining the appeal. The established expertise of a Committee was a relevant starting point but was only a factor.
A particular issue in the case was the suggestion that the actual rent passing had been influenced by another payment made as a matter of "inducement". It was thought that this would raise questions more appropriate for the Tribunal than for a Valuation Committee.
The Tribunal pointed out that the terms "fundamental" and "precedent" would normally require identification of a distinct issue with an appreciable bearing on valuation practice. It would not be sufficient to say that the Tribunal's approach might help throw light on the proper approach. It was necessary to see a general issue sufficiently distinct and important to bring the matter within head (d). With some hesitation the Tribunal concluded that there was such an issue in the present case. The appeal was allowed.
See full decision: LTS/VA/2003/2