Reasons to choose Wilson Browne
The Court of Appeal, in the case of Cardtronics Europe Ltd and others v Syke and others (Valuation Officers)  EWCA Civ 2472…
…has determined the proper approach to the rating of the sites of automated teller machines (ATMs) in supermarkets, shops and petrol stations.
The ATMs in the relevant supermarkets were both internal and external and were operated by banks in the same corporate groups as the operators of the stores. The other ATMs were operated by Cardtronics which had more than 16,000 of its own ATMs in convenience stores and other premises.
The retailers had, in the case of both internal and external ATM sites, retained sufficient control of the sites, in contractual, physical and functional terms, to be regarded as being in rateable occupation of them. Therefore no separate hereditament was formed.
The decision is good news for affected ratepayers; they will now be eligible for a rebate for business rates paid in respect of ATM sites since 2010. However, prior to this decision, in most cases where valuation officers had imposed separate assessment, no reduction in the rates assessment of the main supermarket premises had been made, meaning that separate assessment would lead to significantly increased total rates bills. This decision therefore, whilst welcomed by ratepayers, means that councils may face a shortfall in their expected business rates receipts.