RICS: New rules for business rates will prompt rise in appeals

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Recent business rates revaluations could fuel a rise in consumer complaints and demand for appeals, according to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

A new mandatory code of practice for chartered surveyors who support clients through the business rates appeals process aims to bring clarity for the sector following the upheaval created by recent business rates revaluations.

The code, developed by RICS in collaboration with leading bodies in the profession, will ensure RICS-accredited professionals will be better placed to support clients who wish to appeal business rates decisions following the revaluations in Scotland, England and Wales.

Setting stringent standards for consultants’ communications with clients, the code protects consumers by ensuring contractual conditions, particularly in relation to fees and contract terminations, are clear and easy to understand.

Mark Higgin, Head of Rating at Montagu Evans LLP and Chair of the Rating and Local Taxation Panel at RICS, said: “With business rates high on the agenda for many occupiers, and anecdotal evidence showing we can expect a rise in the number of complaints following the recent revaluation, it’s essential that RICS sets the standard for the provision of rating advice in the forthcoming 2017 List.

“This new code embraces best practice and, in so doing, reinforces the public service credentials of RICS.”