The Valuation Appeal Committee
Most appeals are settled between the assessor and the ratepayer or their appointed agent before being heard by a Valuation Appeal Committee. If a settlement can't be reached, the appeal will be heard.
Committee members are appointed by the Sheriff Principal in your area.
The Valuation Appeal Committee will be made up of a chairperson, secretary and between 3 and 6 panel members. They're all completely independent of the assessor, the government and your local council. They have no prior knowledge of your case or that of the assessor.
The Valuation Appeal Committee hearing is a free service but you'll have to pay your own costs, such as travel and professional fees, should you ask a rating agent, or other person, to represent you.
Before the hearing
You'll be given at least 15 weeks' notice of your hearing date. If your case is urgent, you can ask for it to be heard earlier.
- appoint someone to represent you at the hearing - but you must let the Valuation Appeal Committee know
- bring a witness to the hearing
- present any relevant evidence to the committee - including anything discussed between you and the local assessor
What happens at the hearing?
Hearings are open to the public and usually last between 45 minutes and a day. The committee will decide who will present first. In most cases, this is usually the ratepayer.
You and the assessor will present your cases and you, the assessor and the panel can all ask questions. You may then be able to sum up your case before the panel makes a decision.
If you can't attend the hearing
The committee can decide on your case in different ways:
- Decision without a hearing - the appeal is based only on the written statements submitted by you and the assessor
- A hearing in your absence - you must submit any evidence you want the Valuation Appeal Committee to consider at least 14 days before the hearing. The assessor can still attend the hearing. If you don't inform the committee of your absence, they can dismiss your appeal.
The Valuation Appeal Committee secretary will post the decision and reasons to you. In some circumstances the Valuation Appeal Committee may also inform you of their decision at the hearing.
Appealing the decision
If you disagree with the Valuation Appeal Committee's decision, you can make an appeal to the Lands Valuation Appeal Court. To do this, you'll need to pay a fee.
You must give notice in writing to the Valuation Appeal Committee secretary within 14 days of the decision date provided by the court. You may also consider getting some legal advice.
You can only appeal again on a 'point of law'.
Make a complaint against the Valuation Appeal Committee
To complain about the way the hearing was held:
- tell the Valuation Appeal Committee secretary during the hearing
- make a complaint in writing to the Valuation Appeal Committee secretary