Reeves (Listing Officer) v Northrop: CA 17 Apr 2013

The taxpayer had successfully challenged the entry of his houseboat in the rating list at the Valuation Tribunal, but this had been re-instated at first instance. He said that the boat, as a registered seagoing vessel was not a houseboat, and that he occupied only a tidal fore and aft mooring protected by a pit.
Held: The appeal failed. To be enterable in the list, the property had to be both a heraditament and a domestic property. As to the stautes applicable: ‘If prizes are to be offered for legislative gobbledegook then the foregoing would surely qualify. Having undertaken that trawl through these various statutes I confess to my shame I am no wiser nor would any ordinary citizen be without help from the Practice Note.’
‘The Tribunal had failed to recognise that the time Randy and his family were moored up in the estuary was not simply a factor of weight but the crucial, and on the facts of this case, the determinative factor. This family had made their home in their boat moored on the estuary for some two years by the time of the appeal before the Tribunal . . In the circumstances of this case the duration of two years is so overwhelming a factor that without any adequate explanation of how and why that factor was outweighed by others, the Tribunal, in my judgment, erred in law.’

Hughes, Patten LJJ, Sir Alan Ward
[2013] EWCA Civ 362
Local Government Finance Act 1992 3(2) 64 66, General Rate Act 1967 115(1), Rating (Caravan and Boats) Act 1996
England and Wales
Appeal fromReeves (Listing Officer) v Northrop Admn 6-Mar-2012
The respondent occupied a tugboat with his family as his home. The appellant authority had sought to charge council tax, saying that it was a dwelling. The boat was not a houseboat but a live-aboard seagoing vessel, registered in the Small Ships . .
CitedForrest v Overseers of Greenwich 1858
The court was asked whether a landing stage by a river was part of the land. F. moored a barge in the Thames between high and low water mark : the moorings wera stationary, in the bed of the river; and the barge floated at high water and grounded at . .
CitedCorey v Bristow HL 1877
The House considered the liability to be rated to the relief of the poor of the parish within which lay that part of the river where a derrick hulk was moored.
Held: Lord Hatherley said: ‘As Lord Campbell expressed it in one of the cases last . .
CitedWestminster City Council v Southern Railway Co HL 1936
Subject to special enactments, people are treated as occupiers of land, land being understood as including not only the surface of the earth but all strata above or below. The occupier, not the land, is rateable; but the occupier is rateable in . .
CitedJohn Laing and Son Ltd v Kingswood Assessment Committee KBD 1949
The appellant building contractors had been engaged by the Air Ministry to execute works at an aerodrome. They erected on the site, for the purpose of carrying out the contract, offices, garages, canteen for workmen and other structures. Although . .
CitedLondon County Council v Wilkins (Valuation Officer) HL 1957
Four builders’ moveable huts, which had been erected as temporary structures on a site for 18 months, only one of which was moved from one part of the site to the other during that period, were claimed chattels and therefore not rateable.
CitedHilleshog Sugar Beet Breeding Co Ltd v Wilke LT 1971
Parcels of land were occupied for 9-10 months in a year.
Held: This was not too transient a period to establish a rateable occupation notwithstanding that in subsequent years the occupation passed on to the other land.
Sir Michael Rowe . .
CitedCinderella Rockerfellas Ltd v Rudd (Valuation Officer) CA 11-Apr-2003
The taxpayer appealed against a rating assessment on a barge permanently moored at a riverbank. He claimed that as a chattel, it should not be rated.
Held: The vessel was a chattel, but its occupation could be an occupation of the riverbed. . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.472637