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How to Appeal Your Quarters Assessment

The chart above demonstrates that average 2022 quarters per private dwelling in Grouville are in excess of all other parishes despite St Mary, Trinity, St John, St Martin & St Ouen houses having more bedrooms on average and a bigger % of houses to flats. The rates law requires a parish to set its quarters within a 10% variation of all other parishes.

If you believe your property quarters may have been over assessed you will need to compare your assessment with at least two other properties that have similar attributes. The five attributes considered in rating a property are size, location, accommodation, condition and use.

The two comparitor properties will have similar attributes to each other and your property, for example. a 3 bedroom, two bathroom, semi detached built in the 1980’s, would be different to a four bedroom detached property with sea views. This is the level of detail you will need to demonstrate. The two properties you compare to yours do not need to be in the same parish. Given Grouville has the highest average domestic assessments in the Island you may look to other parishes for comparisons.

According to the Rates Law all like for like properties should have the same number of quarters assigned within a 10% margin. If you think you are over assessed AND you find two comparable properties assessed at more than 10% lower than yours then you may appeal your assessment.

To find the number of bedrooms and bathrooms in any property you may have to contact the owner, or find out some other way. The other attributes should be self evident just by looking at the property from the outside.

To find out how many quarters are assigned to any property you may ask the owner, although they do not have to tell you, or you can look at the parish rate list. The rates list for each parish is available at the parish hall or in the States Library. Once you have this information you will need to complete form R5.

The form must be completed and returned to the parish hall within 14 days of the rates list being published (Article 5 of the Rates Law 2005). This is usually in January each year. You may also request your assessment is reviewed on form R5 when you are sent your notice of assessment, usually late April or May. This is a right under Article 9 of the Law. Again you only have 14 days to make the submission to the Rates Assessors at the Parish Hall.

The form is relatively simple to complete. You will need your address details, the addresses of the properties you are comparing to and the reason for the request, such as “ I believe my property has been over assessed when comparing it to the assessment of these two similar properties”.

Submission of the form is a request for the Assessors to review your assessment. It is not an appeal.

In Grouville you should then be invited to attend a “Rates Clinic” at the parish hall at a specified time/ date determined by the Assessors. You cannot request a time/ date.

You have no right of representation but you can ask to be accompanied. You will meet with the Assessors, and you will need to make your case to them. You do not need to present any evidence to them, but you may do so if you wish, such as photos of the different properties. It is a very informal affair but there may be up to five assessors present which may feel intimidating.

The Assessors will advise you of the outcome of their “Review” in writing within 7 days.

You then have 14 days to consider if you wish to appeal that decision. Any appeal must be submitted on form R6. The rear of the form has guidance notes for appellants. This is very similar to form R5 and again you simply state your reasons for wishing to appeal your assessment.

The form must be submitted to The Supervisory Committee, East Wing, RJA&HS, Route de la Trinité, Trinity,JE3 5JP. The Committee will delegate the hearing of your appeal to the States appointed and independent Rates Review Board. It may be several weeks or months, but you will be called to a hearing, normally held in your home parish hall.

The Board is usually made up three or four people who have particular knowledge relating to property, for example property surveyors, architects, and may be chaired by an ex Constable. This hearing is more formal. You may bring a representative with the permission of the Chair. You may present evidence if you wish but this is not necessary. You will be required to explain why you believe that your assessment is incorrect. If you intend to present evidence it is better to provide this to the Board in advance of the hearing. Also present will be representatives from the Parish, normally one or more of the Rates Assessors.

After you have made your submission the Assessor will be asked to respond. Throughout the proceedings you may be asked questions by the Board.  You may also ask questions of the Board or Assessors. The Board are there to help appellants. No decision is made at this hearing. Following the hearing the Board will write to all parties involved in the appeal. The decision of the Board is final. Outcomes include to support the original assessment or to request the parish to amend the assessment to a specified number of quarters. The Board may also issue recommendations to the Committee regarding particular cases or assessment cases in general. You should subsequently receive confirmation from the Parish that the recommendations have been implemented.

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