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2017 Revaluation of business rates goes live​

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Adam Burke

Name: Adam Burke
Job title: Head of Rating North West
Company name: Colliers International
Company address: Chancery Place Brown Street, Manchester M2 2JT
Company website: www.colliers.com
Phone number: 0161 831 3311
New business enquiry email: 0800 3583230
Twitter id – @Colliers

I am Head of the North West Colliers International Business Rates Team covering our offices in Manchester and Liverpool. I advise a variety of clients, both locally and nationally, on the management of their business rates liability.

The Valuation Office Agency’s (VOA) 2017 Rating List went live on 1 April. With the release of the new Rating List, a number of factors are set to influence how our properties are valued and the subsequent impact on your business rates liability. For some, increases to the rateable value will cut into profit whilst in other locations decreases could improve the viability of previously unsustainable properties.

We believe this Revaluation is the most challenging that the VOA has ever faced. The fundamental concern is that Rateable Values are assessed based on rental value evidence and there is a complete lack of rental evidence for certain types of properties and locations.

All businesses need to be aware of their new business rates liabilities and how those liabilities can be mitigated.

This is the first time since 1990 that we have had more than a five-year gap between revaluation cycles, during which time we have emerged from recession and seen the property industry boom and bust. What has become evident is the increasing disparity between rental levels in core and tertiary sectors which will affect all occupiers.

There is even greater divergence between regions, each of the locations in which a business holds premises, should be considered on a separate basis.

The new 2017 Rateable Values will be open to significant interpretation.

In those areas that have seen transactional activity in an increasingly changing market, it is important to know the full details behind the deals, when these were agreed and what incentives were provided. Due to the speed at which these markets have moved, particularly over the last two years, this information may not have been fully available to the VOA when establishing the 2017 Rateable Values and could have resulted in inaccurately high values.

The VOA have used the publication of the new Rating List as an opportunity to introduce a new Appeals regime. The originally proposed Check, Challenge and Appeal system has already been amended and more changes are expected.

As it stands it is necessary to log onto the new appeals system, register as a user and apply to have your rating assessment checked. As professional advisors, we can guide you through this system to ensure that the process is as smooth as possible, and that your liability is minimised. We will act on your behalf in this matter whilst keeping you involved at every stage, ensuring that the strongest case possible is put forward on your behalf and that timescales are kept to a minimum.

We have a proven track record in minimising business rates liabilities for clients, with over £500 million saved on the 2010 Rating List. We challenge rateable values, examining rate records for evidence of overcharging, manage rate payments and forecasting. Colliers International was the first to offer this fully comprehensive rating service.

As one of the few advisers with a presence in 13 regional cities, Colliers’ are able to handle appeals on entire portfolio’s on a regional and joined-up basis. This national spread affords our clients the confidence that we are maximising opportunities through our local knowledge and relationships with local valuation offices and billing authorities, including the identification of MCC (Material Change of Circumstance) opportunities.

We have access to the largest network of specialists in the UK, no other advisor is better placed to manage your business rates liabilities for the 2017 Revaluation.

April 11th, 2017

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