Supreme Court judgement at last on Newbigin v SJ & J Monk
The Supreme Court has today handed down a very welcome judgment in Newbigin (VO) v SJ & J Monk, a rating case with important implications.
The Supreme Court allowed the appeal, overturning the judgement of the Court of Appeal, and has restored the previous established practice of ascribing nominal rateable values to property undergoing redevelopment.
As to the correct analytical framework in which to address the repair issue, Lord Hodge said (paragraph 22) that the correct approach was:
- To determine whether a property is capable of rateable occupation at all, and thus whether it is a hereditament,
- If the property is a hereditament, to determine the mode or category of occupation, and then
- To consider whether the property is in a state of reasonable repair for use consistent with that mode or category of occupation.
In deciding whether a property is undergoing redevelopment, rather than being in disrepair, valuers can have regard to the programme of works which is in fact being undertaken. If, assessed objectively on the material day, the property is undergoing redevelopment and no part of it is capable of beneficial use, then there is “no basis” for assuming the property is in reasonable repair, and it must be valued as it stands and in the subject case at a nominal rateable value with the description “building undergoing reconstruction”.
The full judgement can be found here.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan is the latest big name to call on the government to extend the business rates holiday beyond April 2021.
The retail and hospitality sectors are mobilising the troops with dire warnings that thousands of business are at risk if the rates holiday isn’t extended beyond April 2021.
The pandemic has led to more than 50,000 extra appeals being lodged against business rates by Scottish firms alone.