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bUSINESS rATE Appeals

Rating appeals may be made on different grounds but, commonly, appeals are made on the grounds that the Rateable Value of a property is too high. We will assess your Rateable Value and, if we identify that it is excessive, we can lodge an appeal on your behalf with the Valuation Office with the aim of having the Rateable Value reduced allowing you to benefit from a refund of any overpayments as well as reducing your ongoing rates liability.

If you have already lodged an appeal and require assistance, we can use our in-depth technical and market knowledge and extensive experience to negotiate the appeal on your behalf. There are strict rules and timescales governing the current appeal system which have already been subject to change. With our detailed knowledge of the system we will ensure that your appeal reaches the appropriate conclusion.

Material Change of Circumstances

Your property may be affected by a 'Material Change of Circumstances' (MCC) which could potentially give rise to a reduction in your rates liability. Such circumstances could include a change to the physical state of your property, for example demolition or refurbishment, or to the locality in which your property is situated, for example the closure of an important business or amenity or a temporary disturbance as such road works or a road closure.

If you feel you are affected by a 'material change' we can examine your individual circumstances and advise whether a reduction in your rateable value on such grounds may be achievable.

Valuation Tribunal Hearings

The majority of our rating appeals are successfully settled by negotiation with the Valuation Office. However, in some cases, this is not always possible and a referral to the Valuation Tribunal may be necessary to ensure that the most appropriate outcome is achieved. We can provide you with full representation at Tribunal hearings, preparing and presenting a case on your behalf with the aim of ensuring that you get the outcome you deserve.

Empty Rates

Empty property rates is an avoidable tax and we can help you to mitigate your empty rates liability. We can devise a strategy which best suits your individual needs and circumstances. Some options which may be available to you include:

  • Temporary occupation - we can develop a strategy allowing you to benefit from empty rates exemption periods with the potential to reduce your empty rates bill by between 65% and 100%.
  • Beneficial occupation - a property which is incapable of beneficial occupation in accordance with rating principles should not be liable to empty rates. We have a track record of successfully using such grounds to remove rate liability entirely.
  • Appeal of the Rateable Value - as the Rateable Value is the basis upon which your rates bill is calculated, appealing this is one way of reducing the amount of empty rates you pay.
  • Prohibition by Law - where occupation of a property is prohibited by law rates should not be payable. We have a track record of successfully achieving reductions of 100% on such grounds.
  • Construction or refurbishment - measures can be taken by a Local Authority to make you liable for empty rates when your property is undergoing construction or refurbishment. Measures can however be taken to deter this and we can advise on the best steps to take in such circumstances.
  • Charitable occupation - charities are entitled to reliefs up to 100% on properties they occupy and are also a potential source of relief from your empty rate burden.

To find out more and to discuss a strategy which will best work for you please contact our Business Rates team.

Reliefs and Exemptions

Certain reliefs and exemptions are available for both occupied and unoccupied property which could help you reduce or even remove your rate liability entirely. Our rating team can check that you are receiving the reliefs you are entitled to.

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