Reduce your rates

Business Rates - Are you paying too much? 

Business rates are one of the largest overheads which typically equate to 50% of the annual rent on a commercial property. For the majority of companies this tax is too complex to understand, which inevitably results in missed opportunities to reduce business rates. To assist, Knight Frank have set out a simple guide to identify when you should consider contacting a specialist who can help with business rates reductions.

What this means for your business?

The current rating list will be replaced on the 1st April 2017.  As rating assessments are based on rental values, this new list will reflect the changes in rents since the last revaluation in April 2008 which was almost at the peak of the property market just before the financial crash.

The economic recovery, particularly in London and the South East, will fuel a business rates increase for most businesses, especially those located in prime commercial hotspots such as Central London and The City. A rise in business rates will invariably affect profits and a company's bottom line. Businesses will be told in October, 2016 what proposed new rating assessments will be in 2017.   

Business Rates Infographic

How can I reduce my business rates?

There are a number of important steps a business can take to ensure that it is paying the correct amount and is not overcharged. The majority of information needed will be found on the live rating assessment entry for the property which is held on the Valuation Office Agency’s website. In order to qualify for a potential business rates reduction:

  • Check the rateable value - remember it is the Valuation Officers opinion of the properties annual rent – does it match the actual rent paid?
  • (Tip- the estimated rent is always set at a fixed date two years before the list goes live so adjustments may be needed ( i.e. 2010 List – all properties valued to 1st April 2008 )
  • Check the summary valuation attached to your rating assessment entry in the rating list. Are the areas you are been valued on, correct?
  • Look at the valuation reference scheme number used and check if it matches the age / specification / location of your property.
  • Check the other properties on that scheme to see if any have had a successful appeal.
  • If you find your business is effected by a change in the locality such as a competitor stores opening / road closures / building works – then there maybe scope to secure a temporary business rates reduction. 
  • (Tip- remember you only have one right of appeal so contact the Valuation Office first with reasons why you think the assessment is too high.)
  • If still not satisfied then it may be worth getting a Professional Rating Specialist to take this forward.
  • (Tip - most rating advisers work on a success related fee so there is no upfront cost.)

Knight Frank has an excellent track record in helping large and small businesses contest and successfuly appeal business rates as well as manage rate payments, mitigating costs as every stage. Contact us for help and advice when it comes to reducing business rates. Our experts will be happy to conduct a full audit and provide recommendations on where we can save you money. Our services include:

  • Account Management
  • Audits on past and future payments
  • Full representation at hearings 

We advise clients on office space, industrial and retail premises as well as specialist properties such as hotels, leisure facilities and museums.

See how we can help you:

Contact Knight Frank - submit the online form, contact our Business Rates Helpdesk via telephone or email us:

Tel:0207 861 1247