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Aon Risk Services Ltd and Others v Gott (VO), [2011] RA 381

DATE: 07 Apr 2011

In a test case the Valuation Tribunal for England reduced the rateable value of four office properties in Leeds city centre due to a physical oversupply of offices which occurred following a surge in office development activity in the city centre and in association with a 35% fall in rents. The Tribunal considered that of the 35% fall, 25% was more likely to have been due to the severe economic recession that the country experienced at this time. Therefore, only 10% rested purely on the oversupply element. The Tribunal concluded :

"Finally, the [Tribunal] noted that the appeals before it were test cases on which some 750 cases also relied. The [Tribunal] was happy to conclude that the allowance of 10% that it had determined should apply across the board to Leeds city centre offices irrespective of a property's age or size.  Whilst some disagreement existed over what constituted 'city centre' the [Tribunal] accepted that the ratepayers had greater knowledge of the office market. Therefore in addition to LS1, the [Tribunal] felt that 'Leeds city centre offices' could include offices in LS2, LS11 and other well established office areas that were generally accepted to be within a 10 - 15 minute walk of the train station."