Reviewed: 29th September 2016
The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) is currently collecting and analysing information on over 1.8 million commercial properties across England and Wales and finalising draft Rateable Values which will be released online on Friday 30th September 2016. These draft figures will be based on hypothetical rental values as of the 1st April 2015.
For many businesses across the UK, these revaluations will present serious cause for concern. The knock-on effect of a substantial rise in business rates could be the straw that breaks the camel's back for companies in an already precarious financial situation.
A further ripple effect can spread to commercial landlords where their tenant, i.e. a business, is no longer able to meet business rates liabilities and where tenancy insolvency exists, it is up to the landlord rather than any guarantor to step in and pay.
Ian Fletcher, director of finance at the British Property Federation, said some areas would see “huge hikes in business rates, which will not only put a strain on businesses, but it will ultimately also affect landlords, whose rents will likely be compromised as a result”.
Official government analysis published ahead of the new draft figures predicts the steepest increases will be felt by London retailers, whose business rates will rise by an average of 14 per cent before taking account of “transitional relief” that will phase in the changes.
However, for some West End retailers and office occupiers on the fringes of the City, and up-and-coming start-up hotbeds such as Shoreditch, bills are expected to more than double as a result of this long-awaited revaluation of properties across England and Wales.
An ever-changing business rates system for commercial properties in the UK has led to more and more business owners wishing to challenge their rates liability, and the new draft figures announced on 30th September 2016 heralds the most significant redistribution of the business rates burden in recent years.
Upon discovering your new revaluation figures, you may wish to make a business rates appeal. Many businesses are turning to Chartered Surveyors that operate on a no-win, no-fee basis for business rates reduction; firms such as Eddisons who have vast experience in this area.
"We have helped thousands of businesses over the years and are poised once again to carry out inspections and investigations to the extent necessary to undertake a large number of rating valuations," says Craig Newton, Director of Rating at Eddisons.
"We can provide advice required to minimise your business rates liability and formulate your appeal to the Valuation Office Agency. Should our appeal be unsuccessful then no fees are payable; but our experienced team has a very high success rate in this area."
If your business is based in England or Wales and you have received a new business rates revaluation that you feel is unfair or inflated, a business rates review and subsequent appeal could save your business thousands of pounds.
For more information, contact the Rating team at Eddisons which provides rating consultancy support to a range of owners and occupiers across the UK. With 75 offices across the UK, you’re never far away from expert and confidential advice.