Skip the Northern Ireland Government Bar|
Skip navigation

Summary of domestic rating reforms

A summary of the key reforms to be introduced under the new system is set out below:

Discrete Capital Values

  • A discrete capital value system will be introduced from April 2007.  The evidence from consultations and independent research shows that this system would be fairer than the current rental based system, which is both outdated and inequitable and easier for ratepayers to understand.
  • The capital value of each domestic property will be assessed by the Valuation and Lands Agency through a combination of information already held on each property, outdoor visual inspections and sales evidence.
  • Households were informed of the capital value of their domestic property during July and August of 2006. Ratepayers currently have an opportunity to ask for an informal review by a district valuer and if still dissatisfied they may appeal to the Commissioner of Valuation. From 01 April 2007 all appeals will be made to a new Independent Valuation Tribunal.

Revaluations

  • The next revaluation will take place in 2012.  After this, the interval between revaluations will be reduced in order to ensure that the valuation list is kept up to date.

Transitional arrangements

  • Transitional Relief will be awarded automatically to those households whose rate bills increase by more thatn 33% over and above what they would have been had the NAV system remained in place. The increase will be phased in over a three year period.
  • read more detail on Transitional Relief

Rate Relief Scheme

  • As part of the St. Andrew's Agreement , the Government agreed to consider options for providing additional relief through this rate relief scheme, specifically targeted at pensioners, following restoration of devolution. these proposals were shared with the parties and the Government is currently considering their responses.
  • read more detail on the Rate Relief Scheme

Disabled Person's Allowance

  • People with a disability whose property has been modified as a result of this will be eligible for a standard 25% reduction in their rate bill.  Where a person was in receipt of this allowance under the current DPA scheme prior to 1 April 2007, and this equated to more than a 25% reduction, the current level of reduction will be maintained.  Where the allowance was less than 25%, a 25% reduction will be applied from 1 April 2007.
  • read more detail on the Disabled Persons Allowance

Maximum/Minimum Payment

  • The Government has announced that, in the context of the St. Andrew's Agreement, it will work closely with local political parties towards introducing a capital values system that incorporates a maximum cap. The legislation contains an enabling power for a max or min cap to be introduced, subject to these deliberations and further analysis.

Appeals

The appeals system is to be revised and a new independent valuation tribunal introduced for domestic property.  Where a ratepayer is dissatisfied with the capital value assessment or the award of Disabled Person's Allowance, they will be able to challenge this from April 2007 through the new Valuation Tribunal.

Enabling powers for a future Executive

  • The Government has decided not to introduce a deferment scheme for owner-occupiers of pension age at this stage.  However, it intends to make legislative provision for an enabling power that would allow a future Executive to introduce such a scheme if it so wished.
  • The Government will consider the introduction of the rating of vacant domestic property in the medium term and in the meantime legislative provision for an enabling power will be made.
  • A future Executive will also have the power to vary the scope and cost of the rate relief scheme (possibly within a pre-determined limit) to ensure that local needs and priorities are targeted.

Explanation of Rate Bills

  • The Government will give further consideration to how the explanations provided to ratepayers of those services funded by the district and regional rate could be improved.

Properties no longer to be treated as domestic

  • The Government intends to treat all commercially operated leisure caravan sites, including the rateable caravans and pitches, as non-domestic property from April 2007.  In addition, housing within the confines of a military base and prison cells will no longer be treated as domestic property under the new system.

Valuation of Farmhouses

  • Farmhouses will continue to be valued taking account of the fact that they are tied to agricultural land and on the basis that they could not be occupied or used for any other purpose.

Relief for People in Full Time Education and Training, Young People Leaving Care and Under 18s

  • 100% rate relief will be awarded where a property is occupied solely by those in full-time education and training, young people leaving care and those aged under 18. In the private rented sector, landlords will have to produce clear evidence that the benefit has been passed on to tenants in order to qualify for the relief.
  • read more detail on the relief for those in Full Time Training and Education