The Supreme Court has ruled that a tenant, occupying two different floors in the same building will have each floor individually assessed for business rates purposes. Credence was given to the arguments that Mazars had taken the two floors under separate leases and their staff had to enter the communal areas of the building to travel between offices.
This was very much a case ‘decided on the facts’. However, there will be a large number of appeals sat in the Valuation Office Agency’s backlog which will now need to be withdrawn and resubmitted. Couple the above with Mr Osbourne’s new appeal cap and we are set to see some businesses sweating under the strain
The Supreme Court – in the Mazars’ Ruling – has decided that, to reach other floors of an occupancy, staff had to leave the tenant’s area to use communal lifts or stairs before re-entering the tenant’s area. Thus, each floor should be treated as its own ‘hereditament’ and assessed individually for business rates. Quantum discounts are no longer taken into account.