Legat Owen hires rating expert from VOA

Chester-based commercial property consultancy, Legat Owen has appointed former Valuation Office Agency surveyor, Elizabeth Draycott, as business rates specialist ahead of publication of the 2017 draft Rating List, due at the end of September.

Draycott is a chartered surveyor and RICS registered valuer. She spent 14 years at the VOA. She has now been appointed to advise Legat Owen’s existing client base, as well as new clients on all aspects associated with commercial property rates.

On 30 September 2016 the VOA is expected to publish the proposed Rateable Values for all non-domestic properties, which will come into effect from 1 April 2017. If the proposed Rateable Value contain factual inaccuracies this may mean an occupier or owner will be paying the wrong amount in business rates for their property from that date. The opportunity still exists to challenge the assessment through appeal and Legat Owen will be offering a comprehensive service from preliminary assessment through to appeal at Valuation Tribunal.

Draycott explained: “Having worked on behalf of the Valuation Office Agency for many years, I have an in-depth working knowledge of the rating system and the proposed changes that are being introduced in 2017. The new check, challenge, appeal system being introduced will impose significantly greater obligations on ratepayers to prove that their assessments are incorrect and potentially impose financial penalties for non-disclosure of relevant information.

“The appeal process will therefore become more challenging and it is essential to seek professional advice in order to navigate the process, given that the last time the rateable values were reviewed was seven years ago.

“I am very much looking forward to working with Legat Owen’s established client base and new clients to ensure that their commercial rates liabilities are minimised.”

Natalie Tansey, associate director at Legat Owen, added: “This is a timely appointment for the company ahead of the new Rating List being introduced. Liz brings a wealth of experience and a detailed knowledge of the Rating system which will be invaluable to our clients old and new.”

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