This is the first stage of the CCA process. Whilst some valuations are available on the VOA Portal in many instances the valuations are not published. Copies of these valuations can only be requested once the registration and property linking process has been completed. A Check cannot be initiated without a copy of the valuation.
Requires validation of the VOA’s property survey data and full disclosure of all physical changes to the property. If a change to the property is required for example part has been sublet then full details of the changes including floor plans need to be submitted at the Check phase. Likewise details of material changes need to be flagged to the VOA via the Check process. Once a check has been submitted the Valuation Officer will review any changes detailed in the Check and where appropriate will amend the rateable value but be warned rateable values can increase as well as decrease. The VOA is aiming to clear checks within 12 weeks of submission and they are deemed to have ended 12 months after submission. Once a Check has been concluded there is a 4 month window of opportunity to then Challenge the basis of valuation. However for material changes the window is 16 months from the date of submission to allow the gathering of evidence.
This can only be submitted once the VOA has concluded the Check or it is deemed complete. There are strict time limits for submission of a Challenge. The onus is on the ratepayer or their advisor to provide a full and comprehensive submission which must include their valuation, evidence, comparables, case law and legal arguments etc. Only then will the VOA disclose their evidence to support their valuation and consider the Challenge. This is the point at which discussion and negotiation will take place. The VOA will issue a decision on the Challenge within 18 months otherwise it is deemed to have been concluded and there is then the right to appeal.