Commercial property

Postponement of 2021 business rates revaluation welcomed

Written by Peter Davison.

Regent Street, Swindon

 

A government announcement that the national rating revaluation for business rates will no longer take place in 2021 has been welcomed by a Swindon commercial property specialist.

Last week, communities secretary postponed the revaluation to help reduce uncertainty for firms affected by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We have listened to businesses and their concerns about the timing of the 2021 business rates revaluation and have acted to end that uncertainty by postponing the change," he said.

"Now is the time for us to continue to focus on supporting businesses affected by the pandemic, including through our unprecedented package of almost £10 billion in business rates relief. "The government is continuing work on the fundamental review of business rates, with the key aims of reducing the overall burden on businesses, improving the current business rates system, and considering more fundamental changes in the medium-to-long term.

"The call for evidence for the review will be published in the coming months."

Welcoming the announcement, Andrew Kilpatrick of Kilpatrick & Co said: "The 2021 Revaluation was to be based on rents as at 1st April 2019, which would have meant likely further rates increases for many businesses from 2021, just at a time when many are likely to be trying to recover from the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.

"Hopefully the next rating revaluation will not happen until after the promised system review and hopefully this time the Government will listen to the representations from the RICS, IRRV and Rating Surveyors Association, who have previously spent considerable time and resources in highlighting reasons why the current system has failed and suggesting improvements, as indeed did a Treasury Select Committee in October 2019, which concluded that the Government must examine alternatives to the broken Business Rates system.

"It would in my view also be sensible for any future rating revaluation to be based on post pandemic rents to properly reflect the new reality of rental values on business properties.”