Each non-domestic property has a rateable value which is set by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), an executive agency of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs.
Every five years they compile and maintain a full list of all rateable values, which is available to view on their website. The rateable value of your property is shown on your bill.
This rateable value broadly represents the yearly rent the property could have been let for on the open market on a particular date. For the revaluation that came into effect on 1 April 2010, this date was set as 1 April 2008.
Valuation Office Agency
The valuation officer may alter the value of the property if circumstances change. The ratepayer (and certain others who have an interest in the property) can appeal against the value shown in the list if they believe it is wrong.
The effect of successful appeals against values shown in the rating list that came into force on 1 April 2010 will normally be backdated to that date, although there are exceptions to this. Full details on how to appeal can be found on the Valuation Office Agency website.
Ratepayers do not have to be represented in discussions about their rateable value or their rates bill. Appeals against rateable values can be made free of charge. However, ratepayers who do wish to be represented should be aware that members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Institute of Revenues Rating and Valuation (IRRV) are qualified and are regulated by rules of professional conduct designed to protect the public from misconduct.
Before you employ a rating adviser, you should check that they have the necessary knowledge and expertise, as well as appropriate indemnity insurance. Take great care, and if necessary, seek further advice before entering into any contract.