Court of Appeal Uses Real World Valuation Principles

An empty office block in Blackpool was given a rateable value (RV) of £490,000 by the local valuation officer, who made the valuation based on the expected rent for which the building could be let. The valuation was based on an assumed demand for a similar property.

The property market in Blackpool being saturated, the owner of the building considered that there was little chance of finding a tenant for it at all, so was unsurprisingly unhappy with the valuation. On appeal to the Valuation Tribunal, the RV was reduced to £1 and that in turn was appealed by the valuation officer to the Upper Tribunal, which restored the original valuation.

The next step was a hearing before the Court of Appeal. The Court restored the £1 valuation, concluding that in the absence of any evidence of any demand for the office block, there could be no legitimacy in a valuation which required an assumed demand to be hypothesised.

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