Last October I ran a story about Ramy Patel, who was attempting to get a reduction on his business rates. When he took over the store the valuation was £16,500, which the previous owner had appealed. However, when the new valuation showed up it had risen to £22,500. He tried to get through to someone at the valuation office, but wasn't having any luck at the time.
Mindful of the number of cowboys that operate in this minefield,
I recommended Ramy consult the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) to find someone who wouldn't rip him off. This unfortunately resulted in him being put in touch with a RICS member who wanted £1,000 fee plus 50% of the savings. Before he went ahead, the evaluating officer got around to him and told him that the rateable value was actually £18,000, based on similar businesses in the area.
This sounded like a fair outcome, but Ken Batty, a chartered surveyor in Preston, Lancashire, whom I have consulted on many occasions, was shocked by the story. He writes:
"I was extremely disappointed and concerned at the advice obtained
via RICS. I cannot believe that
any member would have quoted
a £1,000 fee plus 50% of the savings. We work on a genuine no win, no fee basis."
Ken has no doubts that, had he handled Ramy's case, the result would have exceeded that offered by the valuation officer. He is also considering taking this up with RICS "because it does not place genuine rating firms who are also chartered surveyors in a very good light if a member is quoting fees such as this".
Well, I certainly have no reservations in recommending Ken.
If you feel you could use his services, call 01772 558333.