Business rates explained

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3. Your Rateable Value and how to appeal against it

Your Rateable Value

All non-domestic properties have a rateable value, which is set and maintained by the Valuation Office Agency (external site). This value is based on the market rent that could be achieved for the property at a given date. A revaluation of this amount takes place every five years - the last was on 1 April 2010. For a full list of rateable values see the list of business rates valuations at the Valuation Office Agency (external site).

The rateable value may change if any physical changes are made to your property, for example, building or demolishing an extension. Therefore such changes must be reported to us  immediately. As owner, or charge payer, you also have the right to appeal to the Valuation Office Agency against the rateable value of your property, if you believe it is incorrect.

When and how can I appeal?

An appeal to the Valuation Office Agency against a rateable value begins with a proposal to alter the rating list. The process is free of charge. Before making an appeal, you can contact the Valuation Office Agency to discuss your new rateable value and why you want to appeal against it. They may be able to resolve things without you needing to follow the formal procedure.

  • You can make an appeal online on the Valuation Office Agency website. This guides you through each stage of the form; or
  • You can download and fill in a form (there is separate guidance to help fill it in) and send it to the Valuation Office Agency by post. You need to provide reasons why you are making an appeal. Give your reasons on the form, including the address and postcode of any other property that you are comparing yours with.

The address of the local office of the Valuation Office Agency is:

Valuation Office Agency
Longbrook House
New North Road
Exeter  EX4 4GL

Phone 03000 501 501

email ratingssouthwest@voa.gsi.gov.uk

Transitional Arrangements

When a revaluation takes place there may be significant changes in your rateable value, due to increases or decreases in property values over the five years preceding the last revaluation. In order to phase in these changes, a scheme has been put in place that limits either the increase or the decrease in your Business Rates charge after the revaluation has taken place. These transitional calculations are carried out automatically, if applicable - any changes will be shown on your bill, and will continue to apply each year until the full amount becomes due.

The transitional scheme only applies to the charge based on the property at the time of the revaluation. If any changes are made to the property after the revaluation date, the scheme will not apply to the part of the charge that relates to the increase in rateable value due to those changes. 

For further information, contact us or visit the Department for Communities and Local Government (external site)

Rating Advisers

Ratepayers do not have to be represented in discussions about their rateable value or their rates bill, and appeals against rateable values are free of charge. However, should you wish to be represented, you should be aware that members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (external site) and the Institute of Revenues, Rating and Valuation (external site) are qualified and regulated by rules of professional conduct designed to protect the public.