Business rates – take professional advice to ensure you are only paying the right amount

Business owners should seek professional advice in advance of the revaluation of business rates which comes into effect on 1 April 2023, according to Worcestershire’s leading commercial property consultants John Truslove.

Joint managing director Ben Truslove said: “Many businesses are currently being bombarded by emails and other contacts from organisations promising the earth as far as business rates relief and potential reductions are concerned.

“Business rates are increasingly becoming more complex and can be a considerable business overhead that needs examination to see whether a reduction is possible.

“However, it does not follow – as some ‘ambulance chaser’ type organisations would have you believe – that simply appealing your business rates bill will result in a reduction.”

Chartered surveyors and valuers John Truslove recently celebrated 40 years of advising businesses across Worcestershire, Warwickshire and the wider West Midlands.

Ben Truslove said: “We have been providing expert advice and taking a proactive approach in order to minimise our clients’ business rates bills for over four decades now. We know the market in our area, and we understand the complex mechanisms applied to business rates.

He said the John Truslove approach was to only appeal properties that have genuine opportunities to achieve savings.

“We believe that by only challenging properties that we consider to be over-assessed is providing best advice to our clients, rather than taking a scattergun approach and lodging an appeal in any case – whether there are sufficient grounds to appeal or not.”

He said that were a number of areas that needed calm, cool professional appraisal before advising a client on whether there was reasonable prospect of a reduction in business rates.

“In the first instance, we use our experience and professional judgment to determine whether a Rateable Value is too high or whether it represents fair value. If an appeal is required, we directly handle all negotiations with the Valuation Office and Valuation Tribunal, if necessary.”

Another area that requires consideration is changes in the environment around the business.

Mr Truslove said: “Where there is a material disturbance to your business from external factors, it may be possible to seek allowances.”

External factors might include roadworks, or refurbishment, demolition or construction at a neighbouring site or at the client’s own business premises, causing a detrimental impact on the business.

Mr Truslove explained: “It may be possible to effect the deletion of the property entirely from the Rating List on the grounds of either disrepair, obsolescence or refurbishment work, which may result in temporary or intermittent occupation, or the property may be occupied by a charity, or there could be a legal reason for the property being prevented from normal usage,” said Mr Truslove.

John Truslove’s chartered surveyors Ian Parker and Ben Truslove can also advise on completion notices on new buildings.

“We can examine and in some cases appeal against the commencement of rates assessments,” said Mr Truslove.

Ultimately, John Truslove can provide rates bill audits.

Ben Truslove pointed out: “For our clients, we are able to check rates demands, transitional relief calculations and effective dates to ensure that you are only paying what you are required to pay – and no more.”

For further information or an informal chat, email, or call 01527 584242.

Share this story