Business rate liabilities are a major consideration for occupiers of either existing premises or when considering acquiring new property. Given that business rate liabilities can also be in the region of 30-35% of the property's rental value, it is crucial to ensure you have taken all steps to ensure that the rating assessment attributed to your property is correct. Being advised upon the accuracy of your Rateable Value can be very beneficial with appeals lodged to reduce your liabilities if there is a case to do so - this is where our team of experts comes in!
Premises are assessed for their Rateable Value by the Valuation Office Agency. The Rateable Value provided by the Valuation Office Agency is their opinion as to the correct level of rental value at a defined date based upon rental evidence gathered over many years. In the case of the 2010 Rating List it is the rental value of your premises as at 1st April 2008. However, it is only their opinion of value and not necessarily correct and is certainly open to challenge. Our team of advisors have a strong background in advising clients on their business rate liabilities and can advise upon the accuracy of your rating assessment and provide the appropriate advice as to the best path to pursue.
Currently all ratepayers are being charged business rates based upon the Rateable Value in the 2010 Rating List which came into effect from 1st April 2010 and will run through to March 2015.
The 2010 Rating List came into effect on 1st April 2010. Generally speaking there is only one chance to challenge the Rateable Value first ascribed to the property when entered into the Rating List. There are several other grounds that can be used to challenge the assessment during the course of the list should the opportunity to present for them to do so, however for the majority of properties it will only be appropriate to challenge once. Accordingly, it is imperative that when challenging the 2010 Rating List entry the timing of an appeal should only be raised when it is correct to do so in order to protect ratepayer's interests and maximise the chance of success.
At FHP we look at individual strategies in respect of each individual ratepayers needs to determine when an appeal is necessary and fully liaise with clients to ensure the strategy is to their satisfaction.
We pride ourselves in achieving significant savings on behalf of the client leading to either cash refunds relating to previous financial years or indeed reducing liabilities significantly going forward to the end of the 2010 Rating List which expires on 31st March 2015. One area we are very mindful when advising clients in the 2010 Rating List is that occupiers may have made significant changes to their premises over the years which the Valuation Officer may not be aware of. We therefore strongly advise a full inspection of the property is undertaken before lodging any proposals to ensure the matter has been fully considered and that by lodging an appeal there is no risk of the assessment increasing.
We strongly believe that no rating surveyor can say with 100% confidence that savings can be made before looking in great detail at your assessment. FHP advise clients following the "RICS Rating Consultancy Code of Practice" and provide a full appraisal to each client on the pros and cons of pursuing any possible reduction in liabilities.
In general, our fees are simply performance related and we are more than happy to initially meet on a non obligation basis to discuss your rating needs.
Small businesses may be entitled to considerable rate relief if they qualify to do so. If your Rateable Value is £12,000 and below, please speak to us about how you can potentially make significant savings.
Previously owners of vacant industrial accommodation were exempt from rates whilst the premises were vacant, whilst owners of commercial properties such as offices and retail units paid 50% of the full charge after an initial 3 month void period. From 1st April 2008 the regulations changed and now statute provides for all owners of vacant property to pay business rates after an initial 6 months void period (industrial) or 3 months void period (office and retail). These costs are often significant and costly to landlords or leaseholders unable to end their lease and responsible for the payment of rates whilst the lease comes to an end. FHP can provide appropriate strategies to mitigate their liabilities which are tried and tested and approved by local Billing Authories.
Many properties are caught in what is known as "transition" which results in the payment made not being simply a multiplication of the Rateable Value by the Uniform Business Rate, but, instead is limited based upon the amount payable in the previous financial year.
Accordingly, whilst reductions in Rateable Value can be made, there can be occasions where there is no direct financial benefit until later years or indeed no benefit in doing so at all. It is therefore crucial to get full advice on various strategies to get around the issue of transition. Transition is a complex area but one we understand very well and can often manipulate the transition to provide excellent results for clients.
Current Projects / Recent Achievements
- Secured over £340,000 of savings on behalf of Nottingham Forest Football Club
- Continue to advise Sandicliffe Motor Group on their portfolio with savings to date in excess of £250,000
- For over 10 years provided advice to Nissan Motor Parts in respect of their 430,000ft National Distribution Centre on Magna Park
- Provide rating advice to Warner Estates in respect of their various shopping centres with savings to date in excess of £2,000,000
- Secured over £300,000 of savings for occupiers on Kings Mill Way in Mansfield
- Continue to provide rating advice for numerous clients including EMDA, Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club, Linneys, Hillarys Blinds, Park Logistics and Dogma
Business rates can also be affected and determined by transitional relief. Click here to find out more.