The Valuation Office Agency (VOA), a government agency, has given every retail property in the country a new and appreciable value as of 2023, but what does that mean for your business?
When reviewing invoices for new charges, it is important to review the assessable amounts. This is the starting point for how your bill will arrive, not how much you will pay.
What is valuation?
That Valuation Value (RV) figure is occupied by you as a tenant when you agree to a new lease/lease agreement, whether you actually rent the property (which you may own) or not. It is supposed to represent the amount you would pay to rent the facility. Two years ago on April 1, 2021.
How the valuation is calculated
So let’s imagine the RV is £35,000 at your toll claim. VOA says it will pay landlords £35,000 a year in rent if they want to arrive at the physical site on 1 April 2021 and set up their business. If you actually did that and agreed to rent on or near that date, then a £35,000 RV is right and there’s little point in appealing to that figure.
However, April 1, 2021, the assessment date used by the government, was actually in the middle of the Covid pandemic, and more importantly, we were still in lockdown.
>See also: Companies to pay £3bn surcharge from April
Need to showcase measurable value?
So let’s go back to the first question. On April 1, 2021, was I “just out on the scene”? And what did I pay to rent those facilities that day? (Retail/Hospitality) , in fact we weren’t able to use the facility that day and if it’s an office, staff probably were working remotely.)
The question is whether you actually agreed to a new rent of £35,000 a year on 1 April 2021, negotiated a rent concession with your landlord, or did you actually borrow nothing at all. For the latter he has an argument that if the two are true, the RV is too expensive and should be considered for appeal.
Make sure the facts/floor area are accurate
Most people know the actual floor space they occupy. You should already have a report before you get the lot, or you should be able to easily measure the square footage you occupy using tape or an electronic app.
You can confirm this against the VOA rating by visiting this government website.
Don’t assume that VOA ratings are correct
VOA’s information may not be correct, as VOA may not have inspected the site in years. If your property is a pub or RV property that has seen potential transaction information and arrived, it will not be available until you begin engaging VOA through the appeals process.
How can I advertise my measurable value?
Some small business owners ask if they can sue the valuation themselves.
The answer is yes. You can appeal. But go through the thought process and actions above. Look at your RV, check your floor space, and if you think there’s an obvious error in your VOA, start the process.
The link you need to follow is here With time and patience, you can navigate it.
> See also: How to challenge business rates
Beware of Cowboys, Scammers and Unqualified Advisors
Other small business owners tell me they’ve received calls from people who have offered to help.
Be aware that unqualified grading agents may ask you for help. The publication of this new list has increased the number of scams. Anyone who calls you and says they can save you money without knowing your property and doing an inspection is probably one of the above.
The same applies if you need money up front.
Please note that the rating industry is currently unregulated.
Ask which members of your organization are members of RICS/IRRV/RSA and ask for specific names. or, Code of Conduct for Rating Consultants.
seek professional help
You will not receive an annuity or other financial advice from an unqualified person calling you. We encourage you to use publicly available information to address your queries, but if you want qualified professional advice, it’s worth it.
Check your bill
Sounds pretty obvious, but make sure:
- Has your bill increased since last year?
- Has your RV increased?
- Were caps applied to the increase?
- Am I in Small Business Relief?
- Am I on Hospitality Relief?
more than 10 types Reduced business rate It may apply to your bill – do you qualify for any of them? here.
What will change with the non-domestic rating legislation?
The bill had a second reading on April 24th. While there’s a lot to support in the bill, there are some potential big changes that won’t help your business.
can follow this link For a relatively short discussion. Waveney’s conservative MP provides an excellent illustration of the pitfalls.
It’s up to you to keep your VOA up to date
One business-related issue is the change that places the responsibility on rate payers to update VOA on a regular basis. This includes small building works, changes in sales, changes in rent, etc. All of this means that if he does not submit to the VOA within 60 days, he will face a severe fine and the ultimate sanction is imprisonment.
There is also an annual requirement to ensure VOA-owned property information is current. The government has said this is necessary to carry out more regular reassessments, which is welcome, but if the opposite happens, it would create a significant bureaucratic burden for toll payers. There is a possibility.
The requirement is expected to apply to all users in 2026, but trials will begin before it becomes law.
John Webber is Head of Business Rates at Colliers.
What is Business Rate? Small business guide – What are business rates and do tenants have to pay them? Colliers’ Sophie Atwood answers your questions