Business Rates Advice Services

NG Chartered Surveyors’ business rates advice service can help you review and challenge your commercial property rateable value if it has been incorrectly calculated. Businesses NEED TO ACT NOW to challenge their business rates before 2017 business rates review period ends on 31st March 2017.

How are Business Rates Calculated?

Business rates are calculated based on the rateable value of commercial property. There have been numerous changes to the UK business ratings system over recent years and this has resulted in more business challenging their rates liability. If the VOA (Valuation Office Agency) has incorrectly calculated rateable values in some instances it can put a business under unfair financial pressure.

Business Rates Appeals Process is Changing

The Valuation Agency Office have made it quite clear that the introduction of the new 3 stage process “Check, Challenge, Appeal” is an attempt to reduce the number of
appeals. It will make it more complex for unrepresented rate payers to challenge the new assessments.

What Do You Need to Do?

David Cureton, NG Chartered Surveyors’ rating specialist, provides you with a list of 5 things you need to be doing in light of these changes.

1. Complete the online request for rent and lease details
If you pay business rates, you should have already received paperwork asking for more information in order to ascertain the rateable value of your property. You MUST respond to this document, as failure to do so could land you with a fine. Get in touch if you need help with these forms.

2. “Check” Your Rateable Value
There will now be only one opportunity to check a rateable value once revaluation has taken place. The “Check” process establishes if all the factual details including the floor areas, tenure details and rent the Valuation Office hold on file are correct. The Valuation Office then has 12 months to conclude the ‘Check’, with fines payable for providing false information.

3. Challenge Your Business Rates Assessment
If the Valuation Office is still of the opinion that the assessment is correct following the “Check” stage, an application to challenge the rateable value must be completed within 4 months of the end of the “Check” process. Instead of being able to state briefly why the rateable value could be wrong as before, the rate payer must now provide their own valuation supported by rental evidence, a complete argument to justify the appeal and by relevant case law.

The Valuation Office has 18 months in which to consider the information contained in the “Challenge “stage. If no resolution is reached it will then progress to the third stage: the “Appeal”.

4. “Appeal” to the Valuation Tribunal
4 months of the Valuation Office issuing the Decision Notice at the end of the ”Challenge” stage. The rental evidence and basis of argument against the level of assessment issued by the Valuation Office at the “Challenge” stage is the only information which can be used at the Valuation Tribunal hearing. It is therefore vital the submission is correct at the “Challenge” stage.

5. Seek Professional Advice – Book a Business Rates Consultation
This is where NG’s business rates consultation service comes in. If you would like your new rating assessment professionally checked then contact David Cureton for expert advice. The new rating list became available on 1 October 2016, and comes into force on 1 April 2017 – SO YOU NEED TO ACT NOW.