Offices have been hit hard by Covid-19 pandemic with many remaining shut. With a fifth of all UK properties liable for business rates being offices around 150,000 occupiers have already appealed their business rates assessments based on the impact of Covid-19 having a devastating effect stopping offices functioning normally with the Government urging staff to work from home where they can.
Appeals can be made to reduce the rateable value based on the grounds that offices have seen a substantial and prolonged reduction in use through a material change in circumstances. The Valuation Office Agency, which is responsible for assessing the rateable values that apply to all commercial premises is considering up to a 25 per cent rate reductions after a surge in appeals as a result of the coronavirus pandemic with businesses citing the material change in circumstances. A Valuation Office Agency spokeswoman said that discussions were still ongoing, and no formal decision has been made yet.
In March the Government announced that 358,264 retail, leisure and hospitality premises could have a 100 per cent business rates holiday for the 2020/21. But offices and other commercial premises have been billed as normal throughout the period.
Understanding the impact of the ongoing pandemic on rateable values is a complex legal and valuation issue. At Roger Hannah we are working closely with our clients to reduce their liabilities. If you own or occupy a commercial property and your use and occupation has been affected by the pandemic and Government regulations or you are unsure whether your rateable value is correct, please contact our specialist Business Rates team for a free initial consultation.
Mark Keirl – ma*******@ro**********.uk | 07764158233 |0161 429 1663