Business Rates

Business Rates is a tax paid on non-residential properties, such as shops, offices, factories, and public houses. If you occupy a building, or part of one, which you use for non-domestic purposes, then you’ll probably be required to pay Business Rates. Around 1.8m commercial properties are eligible in the UK.

Recent changes on how Business Rates are levied consequently increased property overheads for many businesses and landlords nationwide. It is essential to obtain expert technical advice on this matter in order to ascertain your correct level of liability.

Councils send out Business Rates bills each year, in February or March. The amount owed will depend on the Rateable Value of the property and the Uniform Business Rate for that specific year. The Rateable Value is based on the annual market rent value, which is determined by the Valuation Office Agency, using other rents in the local area.

Like so many forms of taxation Business Rates were intended to be a simple form of levying tax made complex by layers of legislation. Over successive quinquennial revaluations undertaken since 1990 the Valuation Office has refined its records and database for assessing rateable values. Nonetheless rating assessments require investigation to establish the basis of valuation and, where appropriate, to lodge Appeals to enable negotiations with the Valuation Officer or referral to Tribunal if agreement cannot be reached.

Our dedicated Rating Team has extensive knowledge and a detailed appreciation of the Rating System within the UK. With extensive experience of extracting the maximum amount of Savings for a client & reducing their Rates Liability to an absolute minimum.

The Rating Team operates strictly under the appropriate RICS Guidelines & follows the Rating Consultancy Code of Practice. We provide bespoke Rating consultancy in order to reduce rates liabilities, manage appeals and assist through immediate and long-term strategic planning.

 We can assist with:

Scanlans Rating Department provide impartial Business Rates advice with no charge in advance & fees based on performance geared to savings for the client. "NO WIN NO FEE"

For further information and impartial advise please contact our Head of Rating, Colin Whelan 07881 249812 colin.whelan@scanlans.com who will be happy to assist.


Rateable Value Appeals

Rating Appeals are a complex area of valuation for which specialist advice is needed. We cover appeals on all categories of property, for both occupiers and owners, throughout the UK so as to obtain savings for our clients. 

Business Rate levels are set by the Valuation Office, and are based on their estimation of the achievable rental for a non-domestic property. As Business Rates appeal specialists, Scanlans advise businesses throughout the UK on whether an appeal against their Rateable Value that could result in cost savings. We advise on whether a Rating Appeal is even appropriate, as RV's can go up as well as down. We only make recommendations for a revaluation once the current situation has been assessed in full.

If we identify any anomalies or changes to business circumstance or occupation of premises that have not been taken into account with the current valuation, our ratings experts will advise on the best course of action. These may include differences in physical matters such as floor area and matters effecting the vicinity that may have an impact on value.

With the upcoming 2017 Rating Revaluation & subsequent closure of the 2010 Rating List, it is essential that occupiers of commercial premises take a good look at their current and future rates liabilities. The Government has already restricted potential savings for new Appeals meaning a potential loss of 5 years savings. We at Scanlans can give you piece of mind that your current liability is investigated and challenged where appropriate so as to minimise the rates liability. This could have a positive impact on rates liabilities going forward for the next 5 year Revaluation.

For further information contact Colin Whelan 07881 249812 colin.whelan@scanlans.com

Obtaining Appropriate Reliefs

There are a number of relief, both mandatory and discretionary, available with respect to commercial property Business Rates and it is apparent that Ratepayers are missing out.

Such reliefs include:

For further information contact Colin Whelan 07881 249812


Material Change of Circumstances (MCC) Appeals 

You may get a temporary reduction in your Business Rates if your premises are affected by severe local disruption, MCC'S.

These include

For further information contact Colin Whelan 07881 249812

Assessments Incapable of Occupation

Due to recent case law regarding properties that are under refurbishment or reconfiguration, Landlords and Developers are finding it almost impossible to delete RV's when works have commenced.

Prior to the Newbigin Case, it seemed that all a Developer need to do was commence works and the VOA would Zero Rate the property, therefore no rates were payable. However, the VOA are looking at so called "Tipping Points" where the works have got to a stage that to put it back into a reasonable state of repair would be too costly.

We at Scanlans have acted for a number of clients and successfully mitigated their Rate Liabilities due to works being carried out within the property. There are a number of ways that this can be achieved, dependent upon the nature and extent of the works being carried out.

We have also successfully minimised Developers Council Tax liabilities once a property has been converted from commercial to residential. Using relevant case law and legislation along with extensive experience our Rating Department are confident they can assist.

For further information contact Colin Whelan 07881 249812


Empty Property Rates Mitigation

Business Rates are an extensive and sometimes overbearing cost to a company's annual revenue. The continued alterations to the empty property regulations are hurting property owners and occupiers who are at breaking point in the current market.

In 2008 the Government decided to alter the empty property regulations in respect of business rates. This meant a large number of property owners were hit with a rates liability they were not expecting. The changes to the regulations stipulates that an empty commercial property will only get a short period of rates relief, six months for industrial and three months for other property types, when becomes vacant.

Recently there have been a number of dubious schemes that have come out of the woodwork offering owners and tenants of vacant properties ways of minimising their empty rates liability. These include such schemes as the storage of wet tents, art galleries and even just blatantly lying about their occupation.

We at Scanlans are delighted to be able to offer a clean, robust and legal way of mitigating the Rates Liable for an empty property thus reducing the burden of your outgoings. 

Scanlans provides an immediate and easy service to help owners and lessees of vacant commercial properties mitigate their liability to empty property rates in England, Scotland and Wales.

Working with a number of 3rd party companies, Scanlans have a simple straightforward process, specifically designed to save on business rates, which introduces and guarantees short-term rate-paying tenants. This service results in the re-setting of the rates void period, whilst the premises continue to be marketed.

For further information contact Colin Whelan 07881 249812 colin.whelan@scanlans.com


Completion of 'Request for Information'

With the Valuation Office Agency collating information for the upcoming 2017 Rating Revaluation, commercial property occupiers may have, or will be receiving a 'request for information' form. This form can look onerous to non-property related professionals and with potential penalties for late or non-returning seeking assistance is sometimes vital. We would be more than happy to assist in the completion of these forms on your behalf should you instruct us to advise you on your Rateable Value and subsequent Rates Liabilities.

For more information please contact Colin Whelan on 07881 249812


Future Rates Liability Planning

The new 2017 Rating List comes into effect from 1st April 2017 producing new Rateable Values for commercial property occupiers; seven years since the last Revaluation and nine years since the antecedent valuation date, when rental and other transactional information was gathered in order to set current RV's.

Your 2010 & 2017 Rateable Values will be used to calculate your Rates Liability going forward for the 5 year period of the 2017 Rating List.

It has been widely stated that the current Rating System is broken so the Government will be introducing a revised system they are calling Check Challenge Appeal.

Check Challenge Appeal will comprise a three stage process starting with the Ratepayer checking the facts, within his possession, upon which the Rateable Value is based. However, the Rateable Value is set by the Valuation Office Agency who it seems will not divulge full facts to the Ratepayer as to how the Rateable Value was set.

The new Appeal System is going to be complex with a number of potential pitfalls that could prejudice a ratepayers right of appeal.

Scanlans Rating Department provides impartial Business Rates advice with no advanced charges, and performance based fees geared to savings obtained for the client. "NO WIN NO FEE"

For more information please contact our Head of Rating, Colin Whelan 07881 249812 who will be more than happy to assist. colin.whelan@scanlans.com

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