Material Change of Circumstance
A proposal for a reduction in assessment because of a Material Change of Circumstances (MCC) can only be made under regulation 4 (1)(b) of the Non Domestic rating (Alteration of Lists and appeals)(England) Regulations. This states that a proposal may be made if:
“ The rateable value shown in the list for a hereditament is inaccurate by reason of a material change of circumstances which occurred on or after the day on which the list as compiled”.
The existing 2010 Rating List was compiled on the 1st of April 2010, therefore a MCC proposal concerns matters that have changed since this date. For the 2017 list MCC proposals would only be made when changes have occurred after the 1st of April 2017. The matters to be considered are listed below and an MCC must affect one of these five matters:
“The matters are—
a - matters affecting the physical state or physical enjoyment of the hereditament,
b - the mode or category of occupation of the hereditament,
c - the quantity of minerals or other substances in or extracted from the hereditament,
d - matters affecting the physical state of the locality in which the hereditament is situated or which, though not affecting the physical state of the locality, are nonetheless physically manifest there, and
e - the use or occupation of other premises situated in the locality of the hereditament.”
Schedule 6 para 2(7) of the Local Government Finance Act 1988
Some appeals based on a Material Change of Circumstance are more clear cut than others but the basic facts to first establish are what is the MCC, what is the duration and what effect has it had. Key to all of this is proving the effect of an MCC.
What is the duration of the MCC?
MCC’s can be permanent or temporary. A common example of a temporary MCC would be extensive roadworks outside a property lasting more than 6 months. However, roadworks lasting a week or two would not – the works would be seen as too transient.
An example of a more permanent MCC would be the change of use of a property locally or a permanent change which affects the accessibility of the premises.
How do you prove an MCC has had a detrimental effect (or is physically manifest)?
To prove the impact of an MCC supporting evidence will be required. The evidence presented to the Valuation Office will depend on the nature of the MCC and its impact. Some common examples of evidence required to prove the extent and impact of an MCC are listed below :
- · Any change to your rental agreement which is a direct consequence of the change.
- · Any change to the level of your trade which is a direct consequence of the change.
- · Other relevant information such as press articles, scheme details, planning applications and reports produced in support of that application (for example impact assessments).
So, where there have been alterations to the property then plans should be provided to the Valuation Office along with any other supporting documentation, e.g. building regulation certificates.
In the case of a new supermarket/superstore opening near a high street then trade receipts would be the best form of evidence.
Examples of MCC’s
- · Road or street works taking place which have a direct impact on your property.
- · Building works or demolition nearby, or erection of scaffolding on a neighbouring property.
- · Changes to road layout or pedestrianisation.
- · An increase in the number of vacant properties, which are similar to your property and located close by.
- · A new development opening within the locality such as a large superstore or a retail park that competes directly with existing business properties.
- · A change in the use of a property. For example, a former retail premises opening as a large chain public house may impact on other public houses in the locality