Shepherd highlights ‘material change of circumstances’

Gary Louttit

SHEPHERD Chartered Surveyors has called for rating appeals to be lodged and backdated to March 4 as a result of a ‘material change of circumstances’ arising from the coronavirus pandemic.

The firm said it is currently working flat out to lodge new appeals against rating assessments on the basis that the current health crisis together with the advice by government bodies has resulted in a material change of circumstances which has had an ‘abnormal, significant and ongoing’ impact on the value of most, if not all, commercial properties, particularly those in the hospitality and licensed trade sector.

Gary Louttit, head of hospitality & leisure at Shepherd said, “We think that the effective date for these appeals should be the 4th March, when the government first talked of ‘social distancing’. This resulted almost immediately in a significant downturn in trade for most bars, restaurants, cafes and hotels.

“To be able to have such appeals backdated to 4th March, all such appeals must be lodged before 1st April, although appeals on this basis can still be lodged on or after 1st April. We think that appeals lodged on this basis have a very strong chance of success and would recommend that all commercial ratepayers give urgent consideration to instructing appeals to be submitted.”