Retail & Leisure reliefs

Expanded retail rate relief (Errr…)

Expanded retail rate relief (Errr…)
2019/20 – 33% for qualifying retail properties.
2020/21 – 100% relief for all retail, hospitality and leisure properties and nurseries
2021/22 – 1st 3 months is 100% relief, followed by 9 months of 66% relief subject to a limit. That limit is £2m per business if you were required to be shut on 5 Jan 2021 or a limit of £105k if you were open.
What counts as retail? Generally, if you are open to the visiting public and provide a service or sales as the major use – then you should qualify.
The Government set out the various classes in a guidance document

What about those uses that are on the cusp of being retail, a wholesaler with a trade counter or a car servicing centre?  Here the definitions become quite tight, we use our own database of comparable examples to enforce uniformity with the applications we make.  We also supply photographs and survey plans when we discuss the “mainly used for” requirements.

We are delighted to work with clients on these borderline cases as the application process can often feel as if it is insensitive and unfair when dealing with the online application process.  We add value by formulating your case in advance of the application in order to make sure you are listened to and the Local Authority is given well presented information on these borderline cases where “the computer says NO”.

Top 5 tips for 2021

New Rate Year – new resolutions?

After 30 years practising in rating valuation and business rates, never have we witnessed such a turbulent and unpredictable set of circumstances constantly presenting opportunities for Landlords and occupiers to review their business rates and take positive action to make sure that this annual cost is kept under review.
The Government have yet to publish their plans to start paying back the debt that COVID has built up for the Country. Whilst there is a moral obligation to pay your fair proportion of the burden, it is equally matched by paying the correct amount and not a “computer automated guess” amount as presented so often by an over-stretched Valuation Office Agency.
Primmer Olds presents our top 5 actions to make sure you guard your resources and do not become victim of a scam.

unless you are sure they are a registered firm of Chartered Surveyors. The market is flooded with unqualified marketing organisations promising much in return for advance fees or other schemes to take money from you. Do not engage.

and claim your properties, it is a relatively demanding exercise but should take no longer than compiling a tax return. You cannot “appeal” (Check, Challenge, Appeal) your assessment unless you are registered on the VOA portal. We offer a simple registration service for our clients in the event that you do not want to disclose your passport and National Insurance numbers to the portal.

Reductions in liability are often backdated to 1 April 2017, so if you are receiving retail or hospitality relief this year, do not think it is not worthwhile – those refund for the 2017/18, 2018/19 and 2019/20 rate years will probably be very welcome if you can win your case?

If your property is empty and you are paying empty rates then please contact us to discuss empty rates advice. Not every property is obliged to pay empty rates, you may be planning a redevelopment or simply your tenant has gone missing, these circumstances are pivotal as to whether you have to pay empty rates or not.

If part of your property is vacant or you have organised a sub-letting, you should consider splitting the assessment so one or both of you might qualify for Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR)?

Villiers Chartered Surveyors offers comprehensive professional services to occupiers and landlords alike, business rates is a complex area and only a qualified Chartered Surveyor should be advising you. Our highly experienced team will be pleased to offer initial advice and assist you with reducing your rates liability in the future.

Budget Statement – 3 Mar 2021

Chancellor of the Exchequer

Business rates for 1 April 2021 onwards…

Chancellor of the Exchequer

The widely expected 100% business rates holiday for 2021/22 has not happened.

For qualifying retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, the holiday is limited to 1 April 2021 to 30 June 2021, 3 months business rates holiday at 100% relief. This will cost the Government £6.8bn
The following 9 months is a conditional relief, that relief is 66% for amounts up to £2m for closed businesses and a lower cap for those that remain open.

Nurseries have been added to the list of eligible properties in the relief measures.

The Devil is the detail: –

To be liable to receive the 66% reduction your property must have been required to be closed on 5 January 2021. If you were not closed or you were not required to be closed then the limit of the 66% relief is actually far less at £105,000 per business.

Is the £2m figure for the total liability across the portfolio or a business, it is not per property. The ratepayer details on the rate demand will become more important as Local Authorities audit the reliefs given.

This failure to carry through a business rates holiday for the whole year is a surprise for a sector that has been so badly affected by COVID. It is more important than ever to make sure that you have an additional Check in place to reflect the value of your hotel, hospitality or retail premises in place citing the COVID as a “material change in circumstances”.

If in doubt, please contact me for more information.

0203 888 1000