Frequently Asked Questions

 
 

Why have my business rates increased?

Every commercial property in England and Wales is given a “Rateable Value” by the Valuation Office Agency. The Rateable Value is an estimate of the market rental value for the property. These are re-calculated every 4-7 years in what is known as the “Rating List”. The current Rating List began on the 1st of April 2017 and the VOA used an antecedent valuation date or “AVD” which was the 1st of May 2015.

If your business rates have increased it means the VOA believe either the rent, trade or output of the premises increased since the last AVD which was the 1st of April 2010. The Valuation Office are often incorrect and that is why it is imperative that if your Rateable Value increases substantially that it is checked by a rating professional at the earliest opportunity.

I HAVE AN UPCOMING RENT REVIEW, WHY SHOULD I INSTRUCT A SURVEYOR?

The majority of leases in England and Wales contain an “Upward Only” rent review clause. if your business has invested in a property and you have a break or lease expiry but would like to stay in the premises, it can be very costly if the landlord substantially increases the rent.

Instructing a surveyor to conduct a commercial rent review means that you can ensure you are paying the correct amount for your property and enjoying favourable lease terms. It also protects you from being overcharged because your surveyor will endeavour to find and agree the best possible rental figure, avoiding the costs of moving and arbitration costs if there is a dispute with the landlord which cannot be settled.

Equally, if you are a landlord it is important to find the correct market value when a rent review takes place, so that you can charge the right amount for the property and make sure that you are also equipped to deal with a challenge from your tenants or their agents.

CPRA conduct all of our commercial rent reviews on a no win no fee basis so there is nothing to pay unless we secure a saving on your rent. It is good practice to instruct a surveyor well in advance of a rent review or lease expiry in order to deliver the best result.

Should I pay business rates on an empty property?

Empty properties should automatically pay no business rates for an initial period of 3-6 months after which the landlord is technically required to pay full business rates whilst the property is vacant.

There are however a number of different empty rates mitigation strategies which can drastically reduce the amount payable whilst the property is vacant.

CPRA specialises in empty rates mitigation and we are typically able to save between 50 - 100% of the rates payable on an empty property

WHY SHOULD I CONSIDER AN ADDITIONAL CAPITAL ALLOWANCES REVIEW, DOESN’T MY ACCOUNTANT ALREADY DO IT?

Capital Allowances can be claimed by any owner, occupier or developer of commercial property. The savings are then deducted from income or corporation tax. Whilst accountants are usually able to identify the majority of the available capital allowances they are not usually qualified to also survey properties.

If you are a freeholder or a leaseholder and have had a significant refurbishment or added any buildings or integral features you may find that there are additional embedded capital allowances which have not been claimed by your existing advisers, perhaps going back many years.

Capital Allowances reviews are conducted on a no win no fee basis and we have found that on average only 60-70% of the available capital allowances have been claimed by our clients. That means that there could be thousands of pounds of additional tax savings which have not already been claimed by your business. To date we have not had a single claim rejected by the VOA and HMRC.