In the last issue we reported Rohit Patel’s shock-horror tale about ratings cowboys who offered to get him a reduction while knowing full well that he already qualified for an automatic £1,000 rural rate relief. They demanded half of the savings.

This incensed Ken Batty, someone I have frequently referred to in this column as my go-to chartered surveyor. He’s been having showdowns with cowboys for years from his base in Preston, Lancashire. He rang and offered to help straightaway. He was aware of ratings company RVA as he already has a case ongoing with another client.

He summed it up thus: “This is terrible and I am appalled.”

Ken is convinced the cowboys would never take it as far as court, but if it should come to that he has offered to provide Rohit with a professional witness statement which will point out that RVA is breaking the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ code of practice. He says: “The court would wipe the floor with them.”

When I told Rohit the good news he said that, after reading the story, two relatives had poked fun saying ‘this could only happen to you’!

But as far as Rohit sees it, this storm has two silver linings. Getting his MP involved resulted in a visit from the valuation office and a further reduction, which pre-dated the latest one. And now he has Ken on his side regarding his current reduction.

PS. In the next issue I hope to bring you an even more breathtaking rates try-on that I am still researching.