6 TIPS TO FINDING THE BEST RATING SURVEYOR
Hopefully these six tips will convince you to use a professional rating practice such as Whitestone Commercial. Our previous experience and expertise in the Valuation Office, ensures we produce fantastic results. Don’t waste time and money with the wrong surveyor! Please GIVE US A CALL and we will be happy to answer any questions.
Your assessment is likely to be fixed for at least 7 years and a little known fact is that your right of appeal is in most cases limited to just one appeal. It is therefore very important to not waste your appeal with a mediocre result.
Likewise it is better to use an experienced Rating Surveyor than to try and make the appeal yourself. You may receive a reduction, but there may be a much higher reduction to be had if you use a knowledgeable Chartered Surveyor.
Ensure that the rating surveyor you use is skilled in this area of valuation! This will ensure the maximum saving for you.
Quality & Knowledge
There are many unqualified agents who will convince you that they know what they are talking about. Be careful to not be drawn in by false or unrealistic promises. Ensure they are members of the RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors), the largest body of professional surveyors in the UK and also members of the IRRV (Institute of Revenue, Rating and Valuation).
The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) assess your business rates and if you use a Chartered Surveyor with previous experience working within the VOA, they will definitely have a better understanding of where and how savings could be made.
Location, Location, Location
Choose a Chartered Surveyor who is local to you. If not, then be sure they will inspect the premises and area to familiarise themselves with the necessary details to put forward a good case. A local surveyor will be more willing to really put the time in on your appeal.
Avoiding the Cowboys
Be very wary of any surveyor or agent asking for up front fees. Most professional firms charge on a % of the saving once your appeal has been settled. This is performance based and ensures they are looking to achieve the very best saving for you.
Cost = Value
Fees will generally range from 25% to 50% of total savings. Be careful not to necessarily go for the cheapest, as it is better to have 50% of a lot than 80% of a little. Remember you can generally only appeal once so choose wisely to ensure the maximum saving.
Better Safe than Sorry
Your surveyor should inspect the premises first before any appeal is raised. A very important fact to note is that appeals can lead to increases as well as reductions. It is therefore vital that the surveyor you use firstly checks the assessment thoroughly before appealing. If there is a risk of an increase, he should inform you of the chances of this and his considered view as to whether it is worth appealing.
Do your homework
Not all surveying practices will have a dedicated rating surveyor. This can lead to a surveyor stepping in who has less knowledge and is not as familiar with the procedure. Check websites to see what other professional services they provide. If rating is one of many services, you can be fairly certain they do not have specialist expertise to deal with anything but the simplest of rating appeals.