**Stop Press** Covid19 Update.
Are there grounds to challenge Rateable Values as a result of Covid19?
Supported by legal advice, we believe that Covid19 creates potential for long term rateable value reductions that extend beyond the period of lockdown. In technical terms this is known as a Material Change in Circumstances or MCC. Even after lockdown is relaxed, ongoing social distancing means reduced staff capacity across all property types as well as the long term impact on post Covid property values. The extent of any reduction in rateable value is difficult to predict but the rules governing MCC’s require Check’s to be submitted whilst the MCC is current as the date of the Check marks the material day. This in reality means submitting Checks prior to the end of the current lockdown. Time is of the essence so please get in touch ASAP.
Part Vacant Space – where properties are part vacant we can apportion liability between the occupied and unoccupied parts. Therefore if you have a warehouse that’s closed but an office that’s still working, or security/maintenance occupying part of the site then there is scope to explore potential savings.
Site Closures – Those closed due to government restrictions will largely benefit from Expanded Retail Discount. Those which aren’t officially required to close, such as offices, are likely to be more contentious issue. There have been several claims that empty rates should apply in instances where a company has closed the doors in favour of home working, but is a property really empty if all goods and equipment remain? Further clarification is required but we can see the potential for savings under certain circumstances.
You need advice specific to your individual circumstances – please call or send us your details and we’ll contact you.
Business Rates are one of the largest fixed costs faced by any business so it’s essential that you’re not over-paying. This is a complex subject that requires knowledge and experience to get the best result. Our team have dealt with business rates for their entire careers and have over 100 years combined experience and involvement in an extremely diverse range of property types in locations across the UK. Importantly, we also have great commercial awareness and market exposure that adds another dimension when negotiating what is ultimately a tax based on a set of fixed rules and assumptions. We’re also here to provide informal advice and support – so if you’re thinking of extending your property, moving, vacating or indeed making any other change that might have an impact on your rates then there will always be an experienced advisor on hand to help.
The current 2017 Rating List covers the four year period from 1st April 2017 to 31st March 2021. The government are claiming that the vastly lower appeal levels are as a direct result of the 2017 list being more accurate but it can be largely attributed to the increased bureaucracy of the new three stage Check Challenge Appeal process and a badly implemented IT system. The limited progress reducing inflated RV’s across the country can therefore be more attributed to system issues than them being correct. Recent improvements to the governments IT system mean that the volume of challenges will steadily start to rise so if you haven’t yet taken action then now is the time to do so.
We will guide you through the set up requirements of the system and provide tailored advice and an ongoing strategy to keep your liability to the lowest possible levels.