Leading property consultancy CBRE has announced that its head of rating in Scotland, Brian Rogan, has relocated to the Aberdeen office to focus on assisting clients in the North East with the Business Rates Revaluation appeal process.
The 2017 Business Rates Revaluation has already caused concern for North East businesses facing large increases in their bills, and these concerns became real on 1st April when the new valuations took effect.
Brian was previously based in CBRE’s Glasgow office and has specialised in rates appeals for more than ten years. Last year Brian successfully led a landmark appeal against the Grampian Assessor for a number of CBRE’s oil and gas and professional services sector clients which occupy office premises in Aberdeen, on the basis that the local economic downturn was a Material Change of Circumstances (MCC) and as such rates bills should be reduced.
The Grampian Valuation Appeal Committee announced in January that it had awarded a 16.5% reduction in rates with effect from 1st April 2016. That decision has however now been appealed and will go before the Lands Valuation Appeal Court (a division of the Court of Session) later this year.
Derren McRae, head of CBRE’s Aberdeen office, said: “Given the scale of the issue in the North East, coupled with the technical nature of both the MCC and Revaluation appeal processes, we believe all businesses will need the specialist advice of an experienced rating adviser to ensure they are not being overcharged on business rates. We wanted to strengthen our local rating service and having Brian in our office will greatly assist this initiative.”
Brian Rogan added: “I have been working closely with a number of our North East clients over the last six months trying to help reduce their rates costs through our MCC appeal case, so by making Aberdeen my principal base CBRE will be able to help more North East businesses understand these additional costs and appeal where appropriate.
“Businesses in the North East should be aware that they have a new right to appeal against their 2016 business rates charges as a result of our MCC appeal case and in addition have the right to challenge their new 2017 Revaluation figures. Crucially though they will only have until the 30th September to lodge these appeals. There is also the opportunity for some further reductions in this year’s business rates bills due to the new Rates Relief cap that the Government introduced. This however needs to be applied for and the legislation is not straightforward therefore professional advice will be required to ensure it can be claimed.”