Commercial Rating Appeals
Every five years the rateable values of all 1.75 million business properties in England and Wales are reassessed. The most recent revaluation came into effect on 1 April 2010. Many ratepayers received details of their proposed new rateable value in the form of a summary valuation.
The 2010 Rating List is now in effect
The most recent Valuation of Commercial Property was in 2010. There will be a revaluation in 2015. There have been changes to the regulations covering the submission of appeals (proposals) against your current Rateable Value.
Probably the most important of the changes is the removal of the time limits on submitting proposals (rating appeals) and the introduction of a restriction on the number of proposals that a ratepayer, or their representative, can submit.
In the past, there was no restriction on the number of proposals (appeals) that could be submitted and, as a result, it was not uncommon to submit several duplicate proposals against the same Rateable Value on the same property at the same effective date for the same reasons.
In addition to this, during the 2000 Rating List there were time limits on the submission of proposals which meant that if you submitted your appeal against your 2000 list Rateable Value after 31st March 2001, any success you had could only be effective from the start of the year in which the appeal was submitted. This made some agents submit a proposal on the same property every year.
The Valuation Office Agency (VOA or VO) blamed these practices for the long delays in the Rating Appeal system as it could take up to three years for a Rating Appeal to be resolved. In an effort to cut down on duplicate appeals, the new regulations say that a ratepayer can submit only one proposal for any one event. For example, if your property was given a new rateable value from 1st April 2010 you can appeal against it - once.
If, for example, there is a Material Change of Circumstance (MCC) in your locality (such as a shopping centre opening in December 2008) and you feel it has a detrimental effect on your business, you can submit a proposal to have your Rateable Value reduced because of that one MCC - once.
Thus we can submit an Appeal against the Rateable Value of the Premises which, if successful would result in a rebate for each rating year back to 2005.
Attention small businesses!
If your rateable value is less than £15,000 (or less than £21,500 in Greater London) you may benefit from the Small Business Rate Relief scheme. You will need to register your eligibility with your local authority.
Since the introduction of Uniform Business Rates there have been many instances where it has been possible to reduce the costs of a business by appealing against the rating assessment.
A detailed case must be made including analysis of comparable evidence and negotiations with the District Valuer are undertaken.
Further recourse is available to the Valuation Tribunal if no agreement is reached.
To arrange a Rating Valuation or Appeal, please advise us of your name and telephone number as well as brief details of the property concerned by clicking this link.
Changes to Empty Rates
It used to be the case that most types of empty property were subject to rates at 50% of the normal charge. Local authorities, not the VOA, levy rates, including empty property rates.
Recent legislation to modernise this form of rate relief aimed to provide strong incentives to bring vacant premises back into use by removing these reductions to the business
The main change was to amend Part 3 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988, to increase the empty property rate from 50% to 100% of the basic occupied business rate, after initial void periods elapsed. For most properties, excluding industrial, the void period is three months. For industrial properties, the void period is six months. The change is intended to encourage owners to re-let, re-develop or sell empty non-domestic buildings.
Properties owned by charities and community amateur sports clubs will, in future, not be liable to empty property rates.
The changes came into effect on 1 April 2008.
Following the 2010 Budget Statement in 2010/11 no property will be subject to an Empty Rates Charge if the rateable value is below £18,000.