Case Study: Splits and Mergers and their effects on Business Rates Assessments
We have recently concluded two Rating cases through the new Check, Challenge, Appeal procedure resulting in both of our clients becoming 100% free of business rates liability.
The first case centred on the issue of splitting an existing assessment of a former workshop and premises in Stockport with a rateable value of £19,000. Our client occupied the main section of the building as a car sales unit but had let off other areas of the building to other tenants.
We were instructed to advise on the business rates position. After we had undertaken our survey we drew up detailed plans and produced valuations of each separate area, arriving at the correct assessments, which all fell below £12,000, thereby qualifying for 100% business rates relief.
We were able to confirm this through the initial “Check” stage of the process with the valuation office accepting both our survey details, plans, floor areas and revised valuations. We were able to complete the exercise within several months of our initial inspection and our client was refunded his entire first years rates payments.
The second case concerned a small manufacturing facility in Stoke on Trent, which was subject to two business rates assessments and therefore two separate bills, despite being contiguous in nature. One assessment was £9,200 and the other, £4,250.
We were instructed to advise on the issue and following our inspection of the site it became clear that there was an angle to have both of the assessments merged to form one assessment, resulting in just one bill being received.
We were not only successful in having the assessments merged but we were also able to negotiate a new rateable value of £11,250, which falls below the threshold for business rates liability of £12,000.
This resulted in our client receiving refunds dating back to 2015, they were also exempt from any more business rates payments.
We were successful at the initial “Check” stage meaning the whole process was completed in less than six months.