Apart from properties that are exempt from Business Rates, each non-domestic property has a rateable value which is normally set by the valuation officers of the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), an agency of Her Majesty's Revenues and Customs (HMRC). The VOA are responsible for maintaining a full list of all rateable values.
The rateable value of your property will be shown on the front of your business rates bill. The rateable value broadly represents the yearly rent the property could have been let for on the open market on the valuation date. For the valuation that came into effect on 1 April 2010, this date was set as 1 April 2008.
Can I appeal if I think my rateable value is wrong?
The valuation officer has to maintain the list and may alter the value if he or she believes that the circumstances of the property have changed.
The ratepayer (and certain others who have an interest in the property) can also appeal against the value shown in the list if they believe it to be wrong.
Further information on the grounds for making an appeal, and on how to make one, can be found on the Valuation Office Agency website or from your local valuation office.
The effect of successful appeals against values shown in the rating list that came into force on 1 April 2010 will normally be backdated to the beginning of the financial year in which they are made, although there are exceptions to this.
Will I need someone to act for me?
As a ratepayer, you do not have to be represented in discussions about your rateable value or your rates bill.
Appeals against rateable values can be made free of charge. However, if you do wish to be represented you should be aware that members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Institute of Revenues Rating and Valuation are qualified and are regulated by rules of professional conduct designed to protect the public from misconduct.
Before you employ a rating adviser, you should check that they have the necessary knowledge and expertise, as well as appropriate indemnity insurance. Take great care and if necessary, seek further advice before entering into any contract.