The Government are now sending out an online questionnaire to businesses for them to complete details of the rent paid, and other terms of their business lease, of the commercial premises which they occupy. Similarly, Landlords who pay business rates will be receiving similar requests. This is in preparation for the publication of the new Rating List.The new rates revaluations will be effective from 1st April 2017 and are meant to reflect market rents paid as of 1st April 2015.
In many parts of northern England market rents have declined up to the new benchmark date, compared to the previous benchmark taken at 1st April 2008, which was just before the start of the lengthy and deep property recession and banking crisis.
So a good number of us should see reductions rather than increases in business rates from next April. It is the retail and, to some extent, the office sector where the decline was greatest over the period hence, depending on location, these types of premises should gain the greatest reduction.
Ratepayers should be aware that reductions will be tempered by Transitional Phasing so that if your rateable value drops by 30%, you will not receive a 30% reduction in rates, or at least not initially; the reduction will be phased over several years.
We provide a cost-effective business rates appeal consultancy service to landlords and tenants. We had a notably huge success in recent months in one case where we were able to secure a reduction of around one third on an office building in West Yorkshire.