Appeal No. VA98/2/039
AN BINSE LUACHÁLA
Champion Sports APPELLANT
RE: Shop at Map Reference Unit 18/19, Jervis Centre,
B E F O R E
JUDGMENT OF THE VALUATION TRIBUNAL
By Notice of Appeal dated the 29th day of April 1998 the appellant appealed against the determination of the Commissioner of Valuation in fixing a rateable valuation of £730 on the above described hereditament.
The Grounds of appeal as set out in the said Notice of Appeal are that; "the rateable valuation of £730 is excessive, inequitable, unwarranted and bad in law".
The appeal proceeded by way of an oral hearing that took place on the 29th day of January 1999 and resumed on the 24th February 1999 in the Tribunal offices in Dublin. The appellant was represented by Mr Andriais O Caoimh S.C.. Evidence on behalf of the appellant was given by Mr Joe Bardon FSCS., FRICS, Dip. Environmental Economics of Bardon & Co., Rating Consultants. The respondent was represented by Mr Eamon Marray BL.. Mr. John Smiley, District Valuer in the Valuation Office gave evidence on behalf of the respondent.
The centre has 75 new units of varying sizes on three main levels and is accessed from street level via entrances from Mary Street and Upper Abbey Street. There is also an internal link from the Marks and Spencers store in Mary Street. There are four high-speed lifts accessed from level 3 only of the car park and all shopping levels in the centre are linked by escalators and stairways.
The areas of the unit, as agreed between the parties are as follows:
1st Floor retail 282.0 sq.metres (3,035.0 sq.ft.)
1st Floor Upper Retail / store 209.1 sq.metres (2,251 sq.ft.)
Total 235.5 sq.metre (2,535 sq.ft.)
Evidence of the appellant:
In assessing the RV of the premises, Mr Bardon took the following factors into account:
1. The location
2. Position within the Centre
Appellant's Opinion of Value
Evidence of the Respondent
All appeals were agreed /issued on the same basis as the subject premises
The basis of backdating was a combination of :
Details of the 1986 ILAC rents were available in the Valuation Office,
while the consultant valuer had details of the rents established in the
1996 rent reviews.
The respondent's valuation on the subject premises was calculated as
Findings and Determination
1. The Tribunal notes that the hearing was first adjourned to allow measurement of the subject by the Valuation Office. It is further noted that their measurements were subsequently accepted by Mr. Bardon at hearing.
2. It has been contended by Mr. Smiley and his Counsel Mr. Marray B.L. that when arriving at a fair rateable valuation for premises such as the subject, the consideration of passing rent is of paramount importance.
3. Mr. Joseph Bardon and his Counsel Mr. O'Caoimh S.C. on the other hand contend that the rents in designated premises such as these are artificial and should specifically not be used for consideration, save in conjunction with comparative rental values elsewhere.
4. It is common case that the subject premises forms part of a designated area at Jervis Street which is not easily comparable save perhaps for the Tallaght Shopping Centre (also designated) which was designed as a regional retail facility. It is noted in this regard that Mr. Bardon considers the St. Stephen's Green Shopping Centre perhaps the best basis for comparison.
5. The valuers in this case have taken up diametrically opposed positions as to the best basis for valuing the subject premises. Mr. Bardon suggests that comparative factors are best and Mr. Smiley suggests that rents are best. Both within their précis of evidence (as adopted) and within their oral evidence, it was noted that these witnesses have given little credence to the opposing views as submitted.
6. The Tribunal has been asked to consider the subject premises as either forming part of a designated development area with all the anomalies thrown up by such designation or alternatively as a Zone A commercial retail outlet of the highest earning potential. In truth the subject premises is neither. It does not come within the first category as there is clearly little to compare the subject premises, located adjacent and abutting a thriving and mature city centre commercial district, with developments in deprived or disadvantaged areas which have been given designation for the purposes of enhancing their development potential. Nor does the subject property come within the ambit of the second category, as it does not form part of a mature commercial area with proven yields and rentals established over a substantial period of time.
7. It is the view of the Tribunal that the subject property is comprised within a third category, which is effectively a hybrid of the first two. The premises are new and the enterprise intended for the premises is thus somewhat uncertain. Designation has had perhaps some affect upon the rental values attributable to such premises. Though it is noted that no definite evidence has been placed before us from which a relevant comparison can be extracted to assist the Tribunal or indeed assist the valuers involved in this case.
8. The Tribunal has thus been asked to decide which method adopted is the best and fairest method of determining a rateable valuation.
In the present case the Tribunal is of the view that the best (but not the only) method of determining the rateable value is by having regard to such passing rent as the prudent tenant has contracted for. In arriving at this view the Tribunal is cognisant of the reducing benefit of designation to the occupiers.
In determining an R.V. based upon rental, the Tribunal has noted that the present tenant enjoyed a 3 month initial rent free period and has, thus, made appropriate deduction.
Rent reserved from 1/11/96 = £155,000
Average annual rent for years 1-5 (taking 3 month rent free period into
account = £147,250
N.A.V. = £110,093 x 0.63% = £693.58 say
The Tribunal therefore determines the rateable valuation of the subject premises to be £694.