Important advice on combating 'cowboy' business rate
'Cowboy' rating advisors may be cold calling in your area
offering big savings in your business rate bills!
Please be aware though - these operators are unlikely to be
professionally qualified and often make fraudulent promises to
secure large reductions in your rates bill so as to obtain early
payments from you of up to several hundred pounds!
Once you've paid them you are unlikely to be able to seek
redress, except through the courts, and an ill-considered appeal
could even increase your rates bill.
Please be aware!
Four claims to check
- "We have a team of fully
Do they? Check the firm and the individuals listed with the
professional bodies listed in this document.
- "We have achieved big %%%
reductions for several clients"
Demand the names and telephone numbers of past clients and ring
them to check.
- "We can get huge %%% reductions
on your property"
If they make these claims before making a full investigation of
your property, they may be 'cowboys'.
- "You will have nothing to pay
unless we succeed"
- Whatever their salesman may say, demand to see a copy of their
contract. Free advice can be obtained before signing from the RICS
Helpline Tel: 0870 3331600 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Some contracts contain disguised fees. Do not believe stories
that you will have to pay when the Valuation Office/Assessor in
Scotland acknowledges receipt of an appeal. Not only are you able
to lodge an appeal yourself, but the VO acknowledges receipt of all
appeals free of charge.
- Be careful if the contract entitles the firm to a percentage of
the reduction in Rateable Value. This may not necessarily lead to a
saving in the rates you have to pay.
Professional advice from qualified rating surveyors is available
from members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)
or the Institute of Revenues, Rating and Valuation (IRRV).
The members of these bodies are:
- regulated by rules of professional conduct offering redress to
the general public.
- fully trained and qualified to standards required by their
- required to hold professional indemnity insurance.
Ratepayers choosing to employ a rating adviser who is not a
member of one of these bodies should satisfy themselves that the
rating adviser has the necessary knowledge and expertise, as well
as appropriate indemnity insurance. Ratepayers with any concerns
about a rating adviser should consult the RICS or the IRRV before
entering into any formal agreement to engage a rating advisor to
act on their behalf.
The RICS helpline number (0207 222 7000)will also provide you
with the name of your nearest professionally recognised rating
surveying firm who will provide you with up to half an hour's free
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
12 Great George Street
Tel: 0207 222 7000
Fax: 0207 334 3811
Institute of Revenues,
Rating and Valuation
41 Doughty Street
Tel: 0207 831 3505
Fax: 0207 831 2048
Last Updated: 01.05.2012 at 16:47