In April 2017, the Government introduced a new ‘Check, Challenge, Appeal’ process, designed to reduce the number of appeals the VOA has to deal with.
The VOA will review the factual information provided (such as floor areas) for accuracy – against its own record of the property.
The VOA has 12-months to complete a ‘Check’: if any of the information is false, the ratepayer could face a fine.
If the ratepayer concludes that the assessment remains high after the ‘Check’ stage, the RV (on which the assessment is based) can be challenged. This must be completed within four months of the end of the checking process.
The ‘Challenge’ must include a valuation of the premises supported by evidence. It is important that the appeal comprises a comprehensive and well-articulated argument, as referencing relevant case law and legislation.
The VOA has 18-months to consider the Challenge. If no resolution is reached, the case may be escalated to the ‘Appeal’ stage.
An ‘Appeal’ must be made to the Valuation Tribunal within four months of the VOA issuing its decision at the end of the ‘Challenge’ stage. The evidence submitted in the Challenge process, must also be used at the ‘Appeal’ - which is why the accuracy and cogency of evidence submitted, is vital.