On behalf of a large Wiltshire and Bristol based Door Distribution company, PM Mendes, we were asked to carry out an analysis of the rates liabilities levied on their Bristol and Wiltshire properties. Following our surveys, investigations and negotiations, we achieved rates savings on all of the company’s occupied premises. Notably significant savings backdated to 2005 to 2015 for multiple warehouses at Corsham due to optimising fragmentation and quantum allowances in negotiating merging of the rates assessments, resulting in significant ongoing savings and a circa £60,000 rebate.
Acting on behalf of a private property company Maughan Mitchell recently identified an opportunity to acquire a 27,000 sq ft modern office building with considerable potential to create added value. Within a matter of days extensive research was carried out and detailed advice provided to the client who instructed us to bid for the property at public auction which we successfully did at a price just in excess of £2m. We have subsequently been instructed to asset manage the property with a view to enhancing both the income and capital value.
Having acted for the majority of tenants at Town Quay in connection with business rates including ABP themselves, we received instruction from an international internet hosting company to assist with business rates mitigation for their new flagship office at the Town Quay development. Firstly, we were able to negotiate a zero rating of the property while works were underway prior to their occupation. Following that we were able to negotiate a revised Rateable Value of £157,000 after the Valuation Officer’s initial valuation of £204,000. This was partly due to our unrivalled knowledge of Southampton office rateable values , but also by identifying the rather unique nature of this location as well as layout and fragmentation issues of the hereditament itself which had been overlooked by the Valuation Officer. This will achieve the client a saving in rates payable of in excess £100,000 over the period of the 2010 Rating List.
We were instructed by the owner of a ski centre and lodge in North Somerset to investigate the business rates liability of his operation. On investigation, a number of errors were discovered in the Valuation Office’s valuation of the premises. This leisure property had been valued on a percentage of its turnover, however there were inconsistencies in both the turnover adopted by the Valuation Office and the percentage adopted to arrive at the rateable value. Planning permission for certain motorised activities had also been revoked prior to the compilation date and consequently there were also transitional implications for the 2005 rating.
We were able to reduce the 2010 rateable value by 47% and, with the benefit of a revised 2005 transitional certificate, achieve savings for the period 2010 to 2017 equating to nearly £75,000 in rates payable.
We were requested to look at the single rates assessment levied on this Listed Building which had been divided into a number of suites occupied by various small businesses. Maughan Mitchell successfully appealed the assessment achieving a reduction in the rates valuation from £100p.sq.m to £70 p.sq.m. Subsequently, the single assessment was split into separate assessments for the individual suites. Many of the occupiers now benefit 100% small business rate relief, with the owner also being granted 100% relief for void parts as the property is a Grade 2 Listed Building
Acting on behalf of a private investor Maughan Mitchell recently advised on the acquisition of a number of industrial properties in Northam, Southampton. The instruction involved negotiating the purchase of freehold properties from Southampton City Council and also of buildings subject to complicated ground lease arrangements. Although the transaction was complex involving a number of different interests the client was able to acquire strategically important buildings at highly competitive prices to facilitate future business expansion.
We were instructed to undertake a health-check on the 2010 rates assessment of £36500 for central Bristol offices at GF Old Tram Shed. We looked at the assessment, rental levels and lease terms together with construction constraints of the property and successfully appealed achieving a 29% RV reduction to £26,000. We subsequently utilised evidence created to support an appeal for the ratepayer of 1st floor Old Tram Shed and successfully reduced this assessment from £23,500 to £16,750.
Maughan Mitchell looked at the 2010 Rates assessment (£32,250) levied on the property and concluded it should be challenged on the basis of being valued on an inappropriate scale for the age and location. Additionally, it was deemed an unjustified overage had been applied reflecting the use and layout of the building. An appeal was successful, saving the client in excess of £25,000.
Chris and Simon were recently delighted to be invited to meet with, Michael Newey, the President of the RICS, to participate in an Alumni Focus Group Dinner where there was a lively and productive discussion regarding the future of the RICS. The occasion was held in the President’s dining room overlooking Parliament Square at the RICS headquarters in London. The photograph was taken from the roof terrace.
We have used Maughan Mitchell extensively on Town Quay to provide landlord and tenant advice and undertake business rates appeal work over a number of years. They have provided us with a first class service throughout demonstrating a high level of expertise and close understanding of our aims and objectives which has enabled them to produce excellent results for us
Lex Hanham, Town Quay Manager Associated British Ports
Town Quay Manager Associated British Ports