By Altus Group | February 25, 2020

Senior Valuation Officer, Mike Dunlevey, who has worked across England for the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) and was part of the implementation team for 2017’s new business rates appeal system, has joined Altus Group as a Senior Director.

During over 30 years with the VOA Mike practised in the North West, before leading the East Midlands and Central London divisions as Group Valuation Officer. He was the first Non-Domestic Rating Unit Head for London, leading a 200-strong operational delivery team. He was closely involved with introduction of the 2017 rating list and appeal system, Check Challenge Appeal (CCA), handling some of the highest value properties and the first Valuation Tribunal held under CCA.

Head of UK business rates at Altus Group, Robert Hayton, says, “Everyone in the rating community, both in the VOA and private practice, knows and respects Mike Dunlevey. He has a track record in delivering efficient and consistent services and was instrumental in the design and delivery of CCA.  I am really excited to be welcoming Mike to the Altus team and can’t wait to turn his huge talents towards the interests of our clients and to grow our already dominant market position further.”

Dunlevey, who says he was impressed with Altus Group’s professionalism in working with, not against, the VOA, expects to use his 30 years’ experience to inform even more constructive discussions between rating advisers and valuation officers.

“This is a company that is proud of its professionalism,” he says. “It’s no soft touch, but it has the skills and the evidence to make an effective case for its clients. After 30 years as a civil servant I am really excited about being part of the wider surveying profession and the challenges of a client-facing role. I’m expecting the technical questions to look quite different from a client-focused perspective.”

The largest ratings adviser in the UK, Altus Group has used its critical mass of data to achieve a success rate at Check and Challenge stages that is substantially above average and a high average saving for clients. The VOA’s latest quarterly statistics, from February 2020, show that Altus clients are well advised on whether to appeal their rateable values and that the first stage of the appeal – the Check – is being submitted and pursued with above-average success. Altus performs well both in the number of successful checks and in achieving an average 16.8% reduction of client liabilities.

From 1 April 2017 to 31 December 2019:

  • 22,086 of 137,360 Checks of came from Altus Group (a 16% market share)
  • One third of Checks made by an agent and almost a half of Checks submitted by the 10 largest agents were from Altus Group
  • 6,278 of 26,690 Checks progressing to Challenge (24%) were from Altus Group
  • 77% of Checks submitted by Altus Group were agreed or partially agreed, compared with a VOA average of 68%
  • 72% of Challenges submitted by Altus Group were agreed or partially agreed, compared with a VOA average of 61%

Altus Group’s business rates team achieves national coverage across England through 13 regional centres. Clients range from SMEs to the world’s leading corporations across all main property sectors.


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