Our Business Rates team covers everything from challenging and negotiating business rate valuations to examining your business rate records and rates account management.
The Business Rates team at Colliers can provide up-to-date and accurate information on rates relief and exemptions, and can provide clear guidance on how to handle your rates during this difficult period, including advising on how to obtain grants. The thresholds differ in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and we can advise you on the benefit that this might have to your business.
If you are not eligible for any of the Government’s listed grants or exemptions, we can advise you on partial or full empty rates relief. We can also provide advice on payment for Business Improvement Districts.
The current position is as follows:
- A 12-month business rates holiday has been given for all retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England. There is no rateable value limit on the relief. This is available if your property has had to close or is still operating a takeaway service.
- As the rates holiday/relief does not apply until 1st April 2020 and the Government made it the law for properties not to be occupied from 21st March, you should be able to claim empty rates relief from then until 31st March. We can advise further on this.
- You will receive a small business grant funding of £10,000 if you are in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief. If you have are not in this category, you will be eligible for grant funding for retail, leisure and hospitality businesses of £10,000 on a property with a rateable value up to and including £15,000, and £25,000 with property with a rateable value between £15,000.01 and £50,999. This is paid per property.
- There will be 12 months’ relief for properties in the retail, leisure, childcare and hospitality sectors with a Rateable Value of £500,000 or less (definition as per England).
- A £10,000 grant is available to all businesses eligible for Small Business Rates Relief with a rateable value of £12,000 or less. A £25,000 grant will be given for retail, leisure and hospitality properties with a rateable value between £12,000.01 and £51,000. (for each property) if you are not in the category above. We do not believe that it is possible to obtain a grant in the lower tier if you do not qualify for SBRR.
- There will be 12 months’ relief for properties in the retail, leisure, hospitality and nursery sectors (no RV limit, definition as per England).
- Small businesses who receive the small business bonus scheme or rural relief will be eligible for a £10,000 grant (i.e. RV below £18,000).
- A £25,000 grant for retail, leisure, nursery and hospitality properties with a rateable value between £18,001 and £50,999.
- For both categories, one grant is available per business, not per property.
- Business Rates will not be payable for the next three months for all sectors (no NAV limit). LPS are deferring issuing bills from April until June.
- A grant of £10,000 will be provided to all small businesses who are eligible for the Small Business Rate Relief Scheme.
- A grant of £25,000 will be provided to companies in the retail, tourism and hospitality sectors with a rateable value between £15,000 and £50,999.
If you do not receive the grants and would like us to make an application on your behalf, we’d be happy to do so for a nominal fee.
European State Aid
- The grants above will be subject to the 800,000 Euros State Aid limit. This limit has been designated specifically for the COVID-19 grants. We do not believe that the rates holiday will be included in this; the Government has written to the EU requesting confirmation of this and we have been told that they are expecting a positive outcome.
- If a property is partially empty or is being vacated in phases, it may qualify for s44a partial empty rates relief. If you would like any further information on this or have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0800 358 3230 or to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- We have 90+ specialists, including four Rating Diploma holders, more than any other private practice firm.
- Our team includes over 150 agency and valuation specialists, alongside senior leaders formerly with the Valuation Office Agency, who were responsible for providing technical advice and guidance to surveyors across the Agency as well as liaising with colleagues in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
- Colliers are active participants in the work of external rating bodies and have experts sitting on the panels of the Institute of Revenues Rating and the Rating Surveyors' Association.
- £1.2 billion has been saved for clients as of 2010, with our Accurates property usage review having refunded over £29 million.
- We have successfully recovered savings of £300 million, including £3 million in one review alone.
- Through our rate account management we manage over 50,000 properties and £500 million in client funds per annum.
Rateable value is the keystone of calculating your business rates assessment. However, it is not an exact science and is based upon a hypothetical opinion of value reached by the Valuation Office Agency, a division of HMRC. It is a complex area and requires specialist rating expertise to challenge it. We work closely with our Valuations team and draw upon their in-depth market knowledge in order to effectively analyse data and query the approaches adopted by the Valuation Office Agency.
Our rating surveyors have extensive experience in both the public and private sectors, having had experience of providing evidence at both Valuation Tribunal and Upper Tribunal. We monitor all changing legislation and are well positioned to provide all of our clients with regular update newsletters throughout the duration of an instruction.
We deliver timely advice on whether it's appropriate to launch appeals, setting out a clear business case. We have the valuation expertise and specialist rating knowledge to ensure that your rateable value is at the lowest level. We actively respond to the government on any prospective changes to legislation and we will ensure that you are informed of any changes in the law that might affect your rate liability. Our services include co-ordination with other bodies, prior agreement of a new property or for the 2021 Rating List, material change of circumstance appeals, focus on methods of valuation and case law specialists. We have specialist surveyors within the team to handle every area of the market.
The Accurates team is made up of highly skilled, forensic rating compliance audit specialists. The majority are Institute of Revenues Rating and Valuation qualified former local authority revenues officers. The other part of the team is made up of data and systems analysts, whose prime objective is to supplement your own existing cost management systems.
Accurates is the industry leader, due to its specialist expertise, in providing advice on whether or not rate liabilities (current and historic) demanded by billing authorities, are compliant with current local tax collection/enforcement legislation and best practice.
We forensically examine your historical payments record to identify instances of overpayments in rates, which can be as a result of inaccurate calculation at the time, or through charges that were not compliant with the legislation in force.
Our services include: desktop assessment of liabilities, liability and collection compliance, best practice and due diligence audits, business rates health-check, web-based compliance audit reports and business rate administration.
Empty rates are the breaking point for some in the current market. By eliminating business rate relief on empty properties, companies are being penalised for situations where there is no income. Empty rates are making a bad situation worse.
We played a key role in the consultation that preceded the introduction of the new legislation, helping to limit its impact on owners of empty properties. With a legal consultant on board, we can offer proactive advice on managing and minimising rate liabilities now and in the future. We can ensure compliance with new and existing legislation.
We manage client rates liability using a dedicated accounts team and surveyors to deal with portfolio changes and appeals. Our team can additionally take on responsibility for the rate function altogether, providing a service that integrates our expertise in rating and management accounts.
We will ensure that only correct rate demands are paid and that any refunds and interest due are paid promptly, making sure all payments are traceable against individual properties and providing regular, comprehensive reports to keep clients in touch with all developments.
Our Services include: dedicated specialists, rate demands, funding and payment, reporting and forecasting.
Head of Rating
I have over 30 years’ experience in the rating industry and lead a 90 plus rating team at Colliers International. When I took over responsibility for the team in 2005, it consisted of only a dozen people and has now grown into one of the leading rating advisory teams in the country. I am a member of Colliers International Management Executive as well as sitting on the company’s promotion panel.
I am regularly called upon by the national media to give my views on a range of business rates issues and I am vocal commentator on the 2017 Revaluation.
I started my career in the Valuation Office Agency in Kidderminster. I joined Gerald Eve in 2000 where I spent 10 years before moving to Gooch Webster (now Colliers International). I sit on the National Retail Panel of Rating Surveyors Association which provides guidance on how the RSA town committees work with the VOA and valuation matters. John sits on the RICS Rating Diploma Committee having passed the prestigious qualification in 2014.
Philip Harrison and I founded 'Accurates' in 2007, the Collier's Compliance and Audit team, which although forms an integral part of the Rating Team is now a leading brand in its own right.
Head of Operations
Hilary rejoined Colliers in 2016 after leaving in 2008 to work for The Co-operative Group as Head of Rating & Valuation. Hilary's role is now to oversee Client Relationship Management and Business Development for the Rating team and to work alongside John Webber, overseeing the operational side of the team.
Head of Accurates
I have over 20 years’ experience in the Rating industry and lead a 20 plus Compliance & Audit team within the Accurates team at Colliers International.
I started my career at Wolverhampton City Council in 1999 within the Revenues Department. I joined Colliers International in 2007 as a Rating Compliance & Audit Manager and was promoted to Head of Accurates in 2020. I am a diploma member of the Institute of Revenues, Rating and Valuation (IRRV).
Head of UK Rating Valuation Surveyors
Darren's professional career started with a national surveying firm specialising in Commercial and Industrial property. From here he moved to a West London company that specialsised in the London, Thames Valley and Home Counties market where he assisted in developing the professional services client base. This company was subsequently acquired by what is now Colliers International where Darren has focused on providing clients advice on business rates (UK Property Tax) with the Rating team, which has grown from year to year and are now the leading advisers in the industry.
As a Director of the Rating Department, Darren's experience covers bulk and specialist property and he is involved with client management for local and national companies.
Darren also oversees the UK Rating Valuation Surveyors team in ensuring the best advice and highest service is provided to clients.
Director - Accurates
Philip joined the rating team at Colliers CRE in December 2004. He is a fellow member of the Institute of Revenues, Rating and Valuation (FIRRV) and has approximately 20 years experience local government experience of the management and collection of local taxation charges. Philip is a former examiner for the Institute of Revenues, Rating and Valuation (Level 3 Certificate in Local Taxation - Non-Domestic Rating Law) and a former External Quality Assurance Officer for the IRRV's Level III Diploma in Local Taxation.
London - West End
Damien's first position within the surveying world was as a graduate working for RMC, based at their International Head Quarters in Thorpe, Egham, where he specialised in the contractors test method of valuation for rating purposes and provided lease consultancy and valuation advice to internal Group companies.
After six years working client side he took a position within the Professional Department at Strutt & Parker where he specialised in business rates advice and was an RICS registered valuer, undertaking commercial valuaton work for secured lending purposes. He was instrumental in the creation of a business rates advisory team within Strutt & Parker, and was appointed Head of Rating.
Damien joined Colliers International in January 2012 and is a Director within the London team providing advice on all property classes and continues to advise his first employer on the opportunities to mitigate their UK property tax liability.
I have over 20 years experience in Business Rates Appeal work.
I specialise in the following sectors, large industrial, breweries, distribution warehouses, large foodstores and car showrooms.
I cover the greater Midlands Area, I am a member of several business rate forums, tasked with negotiating an agreed valuation basis with the Valuaiton Office, on various property sectors.
I regularly attend Valuation Tribunal and have presented at Upper Tribunal, including the Simpsons Malt Case, regarding VT/VOA procedure.
As an RICS APC Assessor, I am responsible for training the Business Rates Graduates within the Birmingham Office and as part of a team, mentor all of the Birmingham Office Graduates, across disciplines.
With over 17 years commercial property experience 15 of which specialising in Business Rates, Ben's property knowledge is both diverse and detailed. Large, small, common and uncommon property types ranging from; ATM's to distribution centres, boat moorings to hospitals each requiring their own bespoke consideration and the application of each valuation methodology.
Ben is responsible for all Business Rate appeal work for Colliers in South West England and South Wales. Having also worked at Colliers West End office Ben has a unique perspective regionally and nationally.
Clients include property funds, developers and occupiers from multinational PLCs to sole traders.
Advice, other than the correctness of a Rateable Value, includes compulsory purchase compensation, new premises budget forecasts, liability forecasts and rate mitigation.
Uncommon within commercial property services, Colliers Rating department share the risk with Clients and also share the reward of the savings achieved. Being results driven affords a strong collaborative relationship with Clients.
Recent highlights include;
- Regional HQ building - consent order to reduced an RV from £1,600,000 to £900,000 following an appeal to the High Court Lands Chamber.
- A client with multiple properties saved over £500,000 following work to get the assessments reducecd to RV £0 from a particularly advantageous date.
Mick started his career in the Valuation Office before moving to private practice in 1989. He joined Colliers in June 1997 and since that date has provided advice on minimising business rates liabilities to a wide range of clients nationwide.
He has experinece in dealing with all bulk classes, including shops, offices and indutrial property but has particular expertise in dealing with Licensed and Leisure properties.
Head of Liverpool
Sophie Attwood BA (Hons) MSc MRICS – Associate Director
Sophie is an Associate Director, a specialist in Rating with an in depth knowledge of valuation, rating principles and law in England, Wales & Scotland.
Her experience includes
- Rating casework settlement of a wide range of property classes and types throughout the UK including; retail, office, industrial, public houses, garages, gyms and bowling alleys.
- Experience of Market Rent Valuations including Rental Valuations, Contractors Valuations and Licensed Property Valuations.
- Preparing and presented cases at Valuation Tribunal.
Adam has extensive experience in rating valuation, having worked in both the public and private sectors, based within the North West.
This experience covers a wide range of properties including retail, office, large industrial, licensed premises and numerous public sector properties.
Louise's role within the Rating Department involves dealing with a large number of appeals on behalf of various local and national clients.
Louise has been involved in complex negotiations for a diverse portfolio of properties across the whole of Scotland in order to secure reductions in Rateable Value for clients.
Louise is also involved in Commercial Lease Consultancy comprising mostly of rent reviews, lease renewals and lease re-gears. Working for a number of national clients on their Scottish property porfolios.
David is a Surveyor within the Colliers International, Professional Services Department.
Since joining Colliers International he has advised on rent reviews, lease renewals, lease restructures and Non-Domestic Rating work on behalf of a number of landlord and tenant clients.