Rates appeal warning

By Joe Lutrario

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Law

Licensees should be wary of paying an upfront fee
Licensees should be wary of paying an upfront fee
The Valuation Office has issued a warning for licensees to be wary of companies offering to appeal business rates for a fee. Bolton-based firm Morgan...

The Valuation Office has issued a warning for licensees to be wary of companies offering to appeal business rates for a fee.

Bolton-based firm Morgan Whittackers approached Greene King lessee Tim Bowring, of the Plough at Wolvercote, Oxfordshire, offering to make an appeal for lower rates on his behalf for £200.

Morgan Whittackers said that the area was run down, prone to flooding, had a high crime rate and poor parking facilities.

The Oxford Valuation Office said that the grounds were not valid and were regularly used in the company's appeals. Morgan Whittackers did not supply any trading figures and later withdrew the application.

Bowring said: "The pub's in a beautiful village in Oxfordshire, the only claim Morgan Whittackers made that had any merit was the parking. I've looked into legal action, but decided it's not worth it."

The Valuation Office said that anyone wishing to appeal business rates could do so for free by contacting their local branch and that an intermediary was not necessary.

A spokesperson said: "If you do wish to employ a rating agent, it is important to employ someone who is professional and reputable, as disreputable agents are known to operate in many areas. Contact the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors to find out about accredited companies."

The MA left a message with Morgan Whittackers, but did not receive a reply.

Related topics: Property law, Legislation

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