ATMs & Pubs


Never let it be said that the team at Morgan & Clarke are straight line thinkers. We delve where others rarely tread! Which led us to the curious recent case in the Supreme Court namely Cardtronics Ltd and others (Respondents) v Sykes and others (Valuation officers) (Appellants) [2020] UKSC 2018/0225.

The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) contended that the siting of each and every ATM was a separate hereditament for rating purposes. So what you may say but that implied that each and every ATM would be the subject of a separate rates demand. If you have an ATM in your pub premises that could have profound implications. The VOA went to the Valuation Tribunal and they upheld the opinion. All of a sudden the big supermarkets became very twitchy and to cut a short story long, it ended up in the Supreme Court via the Court of Appeal. Mi’ learned friends were out in force with no less than five QCs and Solicitors being in attendance. This was a lead appeal with some 30,000 additional cases stayed awaiting the Supreme court decision.

In the judgement of Lord Carnwarth the principle was established that the ATMs were not to be separately rated and the VOAs dogged pursuit of their objective through the Court of Appeal was not correct. Whether the ATM was inside the store or accessible from outside the store it was held that the ATM was still “occupied” by the retailer, not the ATM operator. Legal angels dancing on a pin head ? Well maybe but in money terms a surprising amount rested on the decision. If you have an ATM either inside or outside you pub you can rest easy as there are no separate rates to pay.

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