Small business rate relief
Businesses who occupy “small” properties may be able to benefit from a business rates relief. For London businesses, small properties are defined as those which have a rateable value (RV) of under £25,000.
Introduced in 2010, the Small Business Rate Relief Scheme offers a relief on business rates, which range from 50 per cent for premises with an RV of under £6000, steadily declining to a 0 per cent relief on properties with a RV below £12,000.
For businesses with more than one premises, the main property must have a RV of £12,000, with any additional properties having a RV of under £2,600, and the aggregate RV of all of their properties must fall within a £25,000 RV in order to qualify for small business rate relief.
Factors such as inflation and rating revaluation can affect business rates payable on a commercial property. In order to reduce the impact of this, transitional adjustments were introduced, with the aim of reducing the amount by which payable rates could rise, or fall by in a single year.
For example, a business occupying a large property in England will not see their business rates rise or fall by more than 12.5%, plus the rate of inflation, in a financial year.
If a revaluation results in the reduction of your RV, you may be entitled to a rate refund, with interest, depending on whether your previous rate payments have been made on time and are up-to-date.
Appealing a rateable value decision
You may disagree with the RV your commercial property is assigned, in which case you have the right to an appeal; you can either do this yourself, or through a chartered surveyor. To appeal, you must do so in writing to the local Valuation Office Agency.
If your appeal is considered valid, a Valuation Officer will inform you of when your appeal will be discussed. Most appeals will be settled by agreement at this stage, although some may be taken to a Valuation Tribunal. If the outcome of the tribunal is disputed by either party, the next step is to take it to the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber).