Following the Supreme Court decision in Mazars v Woolway, the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) are currently in the process of reconsidering all Business Rates assessments for office premises. It will affect occupiers who occupy two or more separated areas within a building, a prime example being occupiers of more than one floor in an office building. They will now be treating areas of the same building, which are accessed through communal areas, (i.e. stairways) as separate premises for rating purposes.
The VOA are now in the process of contacting all occupiers of office premises, with any changes identified being backdated to 1st April 2015. This work is being undertaken as a separate matter to the current Revaluation due in April 2017 and the VOA are expecting to have made contact with affected occupiers between now and the end of March 2018.
To confuse matters, on 30th September this year, we will be able to download the new Rateable Values (RV) which will take affect from 1st April 2017 and they are advising that these assessments may not yet have been considered against this Court decision, so the occupier may see a number of changes to their RV over the coming 12 months.
Nicola Murrish, Associate at Vickery Holman comments, “Not only is it likely to increase your rates liability where a previous assessment is split into more than one RV, but there will be a backdated liability to pay in addition. If you are not contacted until early in 2018, that will see three years of potential backdated liability being charged to some. The impact on assessments in the current 2010 Rating List will see increases in a ratepayer’s liability at a time when RV’s are already in excess of rental levels.”
Vickery Holman has experienced Rating Surveyors working across the region. We can advise you on the likely impact that this Court decision will have on your property and also guide you through the changes ahead to challenge assessments where required.
Please contact Nicola Murrish, Associate 01872 245602 [email protected]