At the recent M3 Connections Event at RBS, Spinningfields, Manchester, Rating expert Paul Giness from The Beattie Partnership spoke to the audience of business leaders about the benefits of tackling rates projects and how they could maybe generate rates savings from unexpected areas.
Paul commented: “Many companies will be familiar with this story. They take a unit or a floor of an office and then in the good times when business is booming, they take over more space and start getting multiple rates bills”.
He added: “There can, however, be significant benefits of merging units together as it simplifies the billing process and also the revised values per sq. metre can attract the benefits of economies of scale.
Paul warned: “There are minefields to avoid though, as it could draw the Valuation Office to improved/additional space not currently rated. Choosing the appropriate date is critical to avoid losing any previous reliefs”.
Small businesses could also benefit from merging the assessments as well, as due to quirks with the Small Business Rates Relief system, businesses can lose out if they have a 2nd property above a certain size, so it could be advantageous to merge the units together. As with the above though, be careful and take advice first.
“There can be significant rates savings by consolidating rateable values together”, Paul concludes. “I would advise ratepayers to seek advice first and, if it viable find the best strategy for approaching the Valuation Office”.