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Office Business Rates Refund – Appeal Process

UPDATE:JUNE 2021 The Government have ruled out the ability for office occupiers to front a Class Action. The threat of the significant amount of monies which may have been claimed has instead been limited to a set total reserve to be applied to those deemed to be most in need. The greatest support is to b given to the hospitality sector.

The comments below predate this.

You may have read some misleading articles in the general press about business rates refund for office occupiers. You may also have received various potentially misleading approaches about a % refund due. This is partly to explain the system of gaining a rates refund, if this is possible, and also to advise you we can act in your best interest.

The Coronavirus Act has seen retailers treated fairly, although office occupiers have had no such Business Rates holiday. The lack of Central Government support for financial assistance in relation to offices has resulted in the need to address this through a Class Action.

The processes are complex, involving form filling – and an Appeal has to be lodged during Lockdown – so time of the essence is an issue. The reduced Rating Assessment should be applied to the period beginning 23rd March 2020.

We are unsure yet as to the % The Valuation Office will agree in a reduced Rateable Value and a corresponding reduction in your Rates Payable – and refund. The argument for a reduction in assessment is logical, although the discussions will probably continue for a while.

The important part of this message is to make sure an Appeal is lodged.

We can do so for you through our Business Rates specialist Graham Birch. We are qualified surveyors and Graham is a highly qualified respected member of The Rating Surveyors’ Association as well as a Fellow of the RICS, so together we protect client interests as far as we are able to, to the highest professional standards.

An initial administration fee is charged for the processing, in order to lodge the Appeal, with a success related % of savings made – on a successful outcome only. Do please do contact us if you would like us to represent you. We would be delighted to see if we can help you.

Christopher H Thomas   Assoc RICS

Managing Director