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Improvement Relief for Non-Domestic Ratepayers

Businesses making improvements or alterations to their property can now qualify for 100% relief from increased Business Rates for 12 months following the completion of the works.

Government passed the new legislation in December 2023 which aims to remove barriers to businesses enhancing their property due to concerns on increased Business Rates charges. The scheme runs for 5 years from 1st April 2024 until 1st April 2029.

Criteria for qualification:

1. Date

The day in which the qualifying works are complete must be after 1st April 2024.

2. Qualifying works

The works must have either increased the size of the property or improved its physical condition. Examples of physical improvements could be such as adding air conditioning or heating, installing CCTV or adding a mezzanine floor to a warehouse. Additions of rateable plant or machinery also qualify.

3. Occupancy

The building must have been continuously occupied throughout the works, the relief cannot be transferred to a new occupier.

The process:

The Valuation Office will determine if the works are eligible and issue a certificate confirming the increase in Rateable Value (RV) illustrating the net increase in RV as a consequence of the improvements. The Valuation Office must be satisfied that the improvements meet the definition of ‘qualifying works’.

The local Billing Authority will apply the relief to the assessment. They need to be satisfied that the property remained occupied throughout the works and that the Ratepayer has not changed as the relief cannot be transferred.

Exclusions:

  • Improvement relief does not apply to properties that are taken out of the Rating list due to major construction or newly constructed properties. The relief is designed to support occupiers making improvements to the current premises and not to subsidise major property redevelopment or refurbishment.
  • Any improvement works carried out by a previous occupier do not qualify, the relief is not transferable.
  • Changing of use of a property alone does not qualify, however, works associated with the change of use may qualify.
  • Repairing or replacing old technology which does not alter the RV.

If you are considering or planning improvement works or have completed works since 1st April 2023 please do not hesitate to contact the team at ForeView for specialist advice.

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