New judgment: Newbigin (Valuation Officer) v S J & J Monk (a firm)  UKSC 14
01 Wednesday Mar 2017
On appeal from:  EWCA Civ 78
The appeal considered, where a commercial property has been stripped out for renovation, what physical state it is considered to be in for the purpose of liability for rates. The Supreme Court unanimously allowed the appeal, holding that, in accordance with the ‘reality principle’ of Local Government Finance Act 1988, Sch 6 that a property should be valued as it in fact existed on the material day, S J & J Monk were entitled to reduce the liability of the property at issue to local authority rates during reconstruction. Thus, the Court held that a valuation officer must assess objectively whether a property is undergoing reconstruction, and as such is incapable of beneficial occupation, rather than simply being in a state of disrepair. In this case the Upper Tribunal was right to hold that the building was undergoing reconstruction on 6 January 2012 and therefore it was entitled to alter the rating list to reflect that reality.
To watch the hearing, please visit: Supreme Court Website