26 Feb 2015

A question about : calculating 1990 rateable value

Hi everyone this is our first post but we have lurked (and benefited) for a fair while. Our question is does anyone know how the rateable value of a property was determined in 1990? We ask because our latest Dwr Cymru water bill is Ј50 per month! we have a 3 bed ex council flat that had a rateable value of Ј173,000 in 1990 and Ј57,000 rv in 1973 (ha wish it was worth Ј173,000). We rang Dwr Cymru to say charge was high and went through the water meter test but the difference wasn't enough to justify a meter and was told that the rateable value takes into account local amenities - we were asked if we had a bus stop nearby!!! according to Ofwat the rv is the likely annual rental value of the property at the time of the assessment, this cannot be right as there is no way we could get a rent of Ј173K pa now let alone in 1990. We suspect that the valuation was for the whole estate. Any help appreciated.

Best answers:

  • Welcome to the Forum.
    Firstly it would have had a Rateable Value(RV) of £57 in 1973 and £173 in 1990 - i.e. leave off the £thousands. Your RV for water charges will now be £173
    The RV was calculated on the notional rent the property could command - but the figure e.g. £57 had nothing to do with actual rental it could command. It was just a scale and rates(local taxes) were xx pence for each £1 of RV - exactly as water charges are now calculated.
    So if your house had an RV of £57 and mine had an RV of £114 I would pay double your rates(living in the same area of course)
    There were many factors that determined your RV, but how modern(CH etc) and outlook(view of sea etc) played a big factor.
    In my area you could get huge old unmodernised mansions with 10 acres(now worth £millions and obviously Band H) of land that had a very low RV. This was on the grounds that nobody would want to rent them because of the upkeep. A modern estate semi could have a higher RV.
  • Thanks for your reply, I think I am only slightly clearer.
  • Thank you Cardew for your reply and I'm sorry I didn't reply before Mr Nashly did! your explanation was very clear and very helpful. I think I will ring Dwr Cymru and ask them to tell their staff to drop the Ј1000's as that was the part that I really had a problem with (along with paying for a bus stop!!) I've also suggested to Mr N that in future we sign our posts individually. Thank you once again. Mrs N
  • How can i find out what the ratable value of my house is, its on a water meter.
    I have only just bought the property and am looking to buy the freehold.
    I think it matters what it was in 1965.
    Can anyone help?
  • The only people who have used Rateable Value(RV) since 1990 have been the water companies - obviously for those properties without a meter. So it is possible that their records might show what it was before the meter was fitted.
    However there was a general RV revaluation of all properties(in England) in 1973 so they wouldn't have the 1965 figure.
    That said I cannot think of why the RV of your property at any time in the past would have any bearing on the cost of buying the freehold.
  • Cardew, to correct you, you are incorrect in saying Water Companies are the only people who use 1990 rateable values. it is used extensively in calculating the basis of assessment for leasehold enfranchisement of house in the current legislation.
  • My local council does still hold some of the records of the RV prices on the estate that was built in the 50's but that is only because they use them as an example of how it was done and to show the difference in property quality and price for sale etc.
    They do give them out to members of the public on request as they are useless but I think they are more a one off then the rule.
    The water company might still have a record of it back in their old system but that would be down to the back office to check and also they don't have too.
    STW do have some of the old records through their old archive program but more often then not they are totally removed when a meter is installed as after a year they don't apply any more ( or through a sub alt or something like that )