Welcome to the Northern Ireland

Valuation Tribunal

 

The Northern Ireland Valuation Tribunal (NIVT) was established on 1st April 2007 primarily to hear and determine appeals against new capital values for property in Northern Ireland in respect of domestic rates. It also falls within the NIVT’s remit to hear and determine appeals against decisions relating to a number of rating rebates.

 

It is an independent tribunal set up to consider appeals by home owners (or interested parties) who have first applied to the District Valuer at the Land and Property Service (LPS) – formerly known as the Valuation and Lands Agency (VLA) – and, subsequently, also the Commissioner of Valuation for NI. Those appealing against rebate decisions will have firstly applied to the LPS department dealing with the relevant rebate.

 

What does the NIVT do?

 

The NIVT can hear appeals brought under 3 different articles of the Rates (NI) Order

1977 (NI28), as amended by the Rates (Amendment) (NI) Order 2006 (NI18). These are set out in full here, but put simply are:

 

•      Where the valuation of a property is altered and it is disputed by the owner

•      Where a review of a property with disabled facilities is disputed by the owner

•      Where a relevant party disputes a decision made by the Commissioner

 

The NIVT can also hear appeals under the Rate Relief (Education, Training and

Leaving Care) Regulations (NI) 2007:

 

•      Where a review of entitlement to exemption is disputed by the relevant party

 

And the Rate Relief (Lone Pensioner Allowance) Regulations (NI) 2008:

 

•      Where a review of entitlement to a rebate is disputed by the relevant party

 

The Rate Relief (Low Carbon Homes Scheme) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2010:

•      Where a review of entitlement to relief is disputed by the relevant party. And the Rate Relief (Energy Efficiency Homes Scheme) Regulations (Northern

Ireland) 2010:

 

•      Where a review of entitlement to a reduction is disputed by the relevant party.


How is the Tribunal made up?

 

The NIVT consists of a President, a number of legal members, members with valuation experience, (valuation members) and a number of ordinary (lay) members, all appointed by the Lord Chancellor.

 

The President and legal members must be qualified solicitors/barristers with at least 7 years legal experience.

 

At any hearing, the tribunal panel will normally be composed of three members, one from each of the three categories. The legal member will always preside over the hearing (the chairperson).

 

How do I appeal?

 

At this stage you will have either:

 

•      applied to the District Valuer and subsequently the Commissioner of

Valuations for NI, or

•      the LPS department dealing with the relevant rate rebate / relief, or

•      in some cases, you may have applied to the Rates Collection Agency, and now wish to move to the next stage.

 

You now have 28 days from the date of the relevant determination / review / decision to appeal to the NIVT.

 

Each ground of appeal has a specific form to help you issue your Notice of Appeal, which should be completed as fully as possible and returned to the Secretary of the NIVT.

 

Each form has a section where you can indicate if you wish to appeal by written representation (ie. no attendance required). There is also the opportunity to put the NIVT on notice of any ‘interested parties’ who may be directly affected by your appeal. (An interested party is someone with a direct interest in the property which is the subject of the appeal, including part-owners, landlords, tenants, etc.)

 

The forms can be printed from the NIVT website or are available directly from the

NIVT at the address detailed below.

 

What happens if my appeal is late?

 

If you wish to appeal, but are outside the 28 day lodgement period, you can still

submit your appeal. You should complete the appropriate portion of the Appeal Form, stating the reason/s why the appeal is late.

 

The tribunal panel will first consider whether to allow an extension of time to accept the lodgement of the appeal. If successful, your appeal will then be listed for hearing at the next tribunal sitting; if refused, you will be notified accordingly.


What happens at my appeal?

 

Once an Appeal is lodged, the NIVT will write to you confirming receipt. Shortly thereafter you will receive at least 28 days notice of a date of hearing.

 

The appropriate time and venue will also be indicated. You should endeavour to be 15 minutes early to allow staff to note your appearance.

 

With the consent of the parties the tribunal can consist of the chairperson and one

other member, or, again with the consent of the parties, the tribunal can be determined by the chairperson alone.

 

At the hearing, apart from the tribunal panel and the clerk there will also be a representative from the LPS. The panel will study all the documentation, and you will be given the opportunity to state your case.

 

Although those attending will not be asked to take an oath, and whilst the tribunal endeavours to remain informal, all parties are reminded of their duty to tell the truth at all times.

 

The tribunal panel will usually break for a short time to consider and discuss the case in private. In the majority of appeals the chairperson will announce the panel’s decision on the day, but occasionally it may be necessary to adjourn the hearing to allow for further consideration.

 

Further details are contained in the leaflet ‘What happens after I lodge an appeal?’

 

What happens next?

 

All appellants will receive a written Notice of Decision even if you attended at court. If the appeal is upheld, the LPS will be notified.

 

If the appeal is refused, you have 14 days from the date of receipt of the written decision to apply to the tribunal to review its decision. However, an application for review will only be accepted if the tribunal is satisfied that:

 

•      the decision was wrong because of an error

•      additional interested parties or new evidence have become available;

•      it is required in the interests of justice

 

In certain circumstances it is possible to appeal the decision of the NIVT to either the

Court of Appeal or The Lands Tribunal – see the end of this leaflet for more details.

In these cases you also have 14 days from the date of receipt of the written decision to apply to the tribunal.

 

Please contact the office to obtain more information on these matters.


Contact Details

 

If you have received a Notice from the Department or the Commissioner and have any queries on the appeal procedure, you can contact the NIVT as outlined below:

 

Tel: 0300 200 7812

Email: tribunalsunit@courtsni.gov.uk. Website: www.nivaluationtribunal.org

 

Northern Ireland Valuation Tribunal

Tribunals Hearing Centre

2nd Floor

Royal Courts of Justice

Chichester Street

Belfast BT1 3JF

 

The Grounds on which you can appeal to the NIVT

are:

 

As laid out in the Rates (Northern Ireland) Order 1977 (NI28), as amended by the

Rates (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 (NI18):

 

•      Article 13(3) – Where an alteration is made to the valuation list regarding a hereditament and it is disputed by the owner.

•      Article 31A(12B) – Where a review of a decision that a person is not entitled to a rebate for a property with disabled facilities is disputed

•      Article 54 – Where a person other than the Dept is aggrieved by a decision or alteration made by the Commissioner.

 

Under the Rate Relief (Education, Training and Leaving Care) Regulations (NI) 2007 (SR No.148):

 

•      Regulation 12(1) – Where a review of a decision that a person is not entitled to exemption is disputed

 

Under the Rate Relief (Lone Pensioner Allowance) Regulations (NI) 2008 (SR No.124):

 

•      Regulation 10(1) – Where a review of a decision that a person is not entitled to exemption is disputed


Under the Rate Relief (Low Carbon Homes Scheme) Regulations (Northern Ireland)

2010:

 

•      Regulation 10(1) – Where a review of entitlement to relief is disputed by the relevant party.

 

Or the Rate Relief (Energy Efficiency Homes Scheme) Regulations (Northern

Ireland) 2010:

 

•      Regulation 9(1) –Where a review of entitlement to a reduction is disputed by the relevant party.

 

Appeals from the NIVT to the Court of Appeal:

 

Cases under Article 31A, Regulation 12(1), Regulation 10(1), Regulation 10(1) and Regulation 9(1) as outlined above can be appealed to the Northern Ireland Court of Appeal on a point of law.

 

An application should be made to the NIVT outlining the relevant point of law to be considered.

 

Appeals from the NIVT to the Lands Tribunal:

 

Cases under Article 13(3) and Article 54(2) above can be appealed to the Lands Tribunal, with the leave of either the President of the NIVT or the Lands Tribunal itself.

 

An application should firstly be made to the President of the NIVT outlining the nature of the proposed appeal.