New law: Business rates may go up for organisations occupying more than one space in the same building or estate

The Government's Valuation Office Agency (VOA) has announced that non-domestic ratepayers in England and Wales who occupy two or more spaces in the same building or on the same site, but which are neither contiguous nor interconnected, must pay separate rates for each space.

The new rules will be backdated to whichever is the more recent of either 1 April 2015 (England) or 1 April 2010 (Wales); or when the ratepayer became an occupier of the spaces.

Some businesses may therefore have to pay higher rates under the new rules, even though they are still occupying the same floor space as before.

The new rules are likely to catch, for example, organisations occupying offices on consecutive floors in the same building, where each floor can only be accessed via the common parts; or businesses with two or more industrial units in the same estate, neither of which can be accessed except via a communal area.

The VOA will contact businesses or organisations that are affected.

Operative date

  • Now

Recommendation

  • Businesses affected should check out the VOA's guidance on the gov.uk website

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