Business Rates

Occupying a building (or part of one) that you use for non-domestic purposes, will mean that you’ll more than likely be required to pay business rates.  Introduced in their current form in 1990, business rates are worked out based on the property’s ‘rateable value’. But just what is rateable value? Rateable value takes into account the usage and size of the property. The Valuation Office Agency then uses rents in the local area to work out an average of the annual market rent value.

Revaluation – What’s it all about?

Revaluation is when the government adjusts the value of business rates to reflect changes in the property market. Historically reviewed every five years, commercial property in England, Scotland and Wales, hasn’t, however, been revalued since April 2010. That changed this year, as the latest revaluation took place this month. The last revaluation was based on rental values as at 1 April 2008. A lot has changed in the marketplace since then and it was widely predicted, depending on where you’re based in the UK, that rates increased between 2.9% and 9.6%. It seems fair to say that there were some significant rate increases and rate payers would have seen their bills change dramatically.

How are you affected?

As a care home, your rates are no doubt already significant and any increases will affect the business’ bottom line. But what if you disagree with the amount that has been set? The good news is you can appeal. However, in line with the rate increases a new appeal process has also been introduced, making challenging rateable values more time consuming, not to mention costly.

What to do next

We understand the importance of budgeting, and as HCPA partners, we’d be happy to help you with this specialist area. As Cost Reduction experts, we’re aligned with a team of specialists who would be happy to undertake an initial investigation to see if your new rateable value is in keeping with other rateable properties in your area. Once our findings are complete, should we come across any discrepancies with the new ratings, we will, as part of our service, work on your behalf to appeal the ratings*.

A word of caution

We have been coming across a number of companies, who have been contacted by rating consultants and have paid an upfront fee, only to find that little, if any, investigation work had been carried out. Our advice is to not pay any upfront fees under any circumstances. Reputable rating specialists will charge an agreed percentage of the reduction and refund obtained. To find out how we can help you with your revaluation, contact our Support team or call 0333 313 0090.

*In this specialist area, fees are applicable on the refund and reductions obtained.