Success for our Business Rates experts

4th February 2022

The business rates system has undergone substantial change over the last few years, with many smaller commercial enterprises benefitting from business rates reliefs.  Further exemptions and discounts have been applied in response to the Covid pandemic which although welcome, can be complex in their interpretation and application.

Businesses of all sizes need to ensure that they have obtained the exemptions and discounts they are entitled to, but with schemes changing fundamentally and frequently, it can be difficult to keep track of the support being offered by government.  A system which has always been complex has now become more so.  Many aspects of the most recent regulations have yet to be tested at Court or Tribunal and as such are still open to interpretation.

If you’re concerned that your liability for rates may be incorrect, Oldfield Smith can offer an objective appraisal with a FREE initial review

At the same time, the conventional requirement to pay business rates continues to apply to larger businesses who are above the threshold for small business rates relief.  Here the structure of the rating assessment, the areas it is applied to and the values adopted remain of primary importance.  Often there is scope to improve the assessment by combining one or more assessments or conversely there may be options to divide larger assessments to take advantage of discounts for smaller businesses.

The business rates experts at Oldfield Smith & Co have recently secured a large discount on behalf of an East Sussex based business by combining two large factories into a single rating assessment.  This lead to a reduction in total rateable value of £37,000 and significant savings for our client.

At the same time our Head of Professional Services, Bernard Smith FRICS, acted for UK based hotel chain in connection with Covid reliefs on their London Properties.  This involved a detailed assessment of the legislation and guidance notes surrounding this area and submitting a reasoned case for re-interpretation of the methodology.  After consideration at the highest levels including by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, our interpretation was accepted and resulted in a critical reinstatement of exemptions.

Business rates remains a complex and changing area of practice, but our expert time can assist from initial assessment right through to representation at Tribunal.  We offer a transparent, fair, fee structure, operate to the highest professional standards and are regulated by RICS.  If you have a query about business rates or any other commercial property matter, our team are here to help.  Call us now on 01825 762222 for a FREE informal discussion without charge or obligation.