Notional Rents make the headlines in the Daily Telegraph

Posted on 08 November 2011.

No doubt many of you will have seen the article “GPs pocket millions from taxpayer-funded scheme” (Daily Telegraph - 4th July 2011) regarding Notional Rents under the Doctors Rent and Rates Scheme. The rather inflammatory language certainly generated a lot of comment but as we have come to expect with the national press the accuracy of the content left a lot to be desired.

The GPC quickly responded to defend the Notional Rent Scheme “as a necessary tool to provide government with enough practices; and patients with the best care”. It also emphasised the District Valuer’s role in the process and the Appeal procedure that goes with it.

Nevertheless as a result of the public ‘concern’ created by the article some clients may hesitate to thoroughly test the tri-annual assessments received from the PCT.

Although property markets in general have weakened as a result of current financial uncertainties and some PCTs have therefore argued that rents are static or possibly falling, that is not our experience of this sector. We continue to see reasonable increases, particularly at Appeal.

It is vital that GP practices continue to closely examine any Notional Rent calculations offered by the District Valuer. Our experience shows that in many cases, errors in measurement and space allocation can be repeated over the years, leading to incorrect assessments. Once these errors are corrected, many practices receive accurate, increased levels of reimbursement. A thorough professional review of the figures and calculations at an early stage can easily identify whether an Appeal is required.

If you have any doubts over any aspect of your Notional Rent Review, please give us a call. We will be delighted to assist and are happy to discuss an incentive basis fee structure.