Business Rates

Rates Appeals l Mitigation l Audit l Administration l Consultancy

Business Rates are a significant cost for most businesses. At Rowland Burkitt we have over 30 years experience in advising clients to best mitigate their rates liabilities.

The current Rating List began on the 1st of April 2017 when new rateable values of commercial properties came into effect. The 2017 Rating List marked important changes to the approach of appealing a property’s Rateable Value with the introdution of “Check, Challenge and Appeal (CCA)”.

Check, Challenge, Appeal is a three step process to appealing the Rateable Value of a property and at Rowland Burkitt we are experienced in navigating the new system. 

Our Services

We offer a comprehensive range of services which can be tailored to suit your requirements. Please click on a link below to find out more about our services.

Alan Burkitt MSc MRICS

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Appeals - Our Approach

Before any appeals are lodged we first evaluate the accuracy of your existing Rateable Value and advise on whether an appeal is merited.

It is important to remember that a property’s Rateable Value can go up as well as down after an appeal is lodged. Therefore a comprehensive review of the property is required before we advise. Our process can be summarised as follows :

  • 1. The client must first register with the Valuation Office, we provide assistance during this process.

  • 2. Our surveyor then inspects your property and reconciles the facts against the Valuation Office’s existing valuation.

  • 3. Following this an evaluation of your tenure and local market evidence is undertaken to determine the accuracy of your valuation.

  • 4. At this stage this a recommendation will be made as to whether to proceed and lodge a proposal.

If a decision is made to proceed a formal proposal will be lodged with the Valuation Office. The appeal will be allocated a window of time during which the appeal can be discussed with the Valuation Office.

Depending on the progress of these discussions a decision will be made to either withdraw or agree the appeal. If no agreement with the Valuation Office can be reached then the appeal will progress to Tribunal.

Business Rates Mitigation

When a commercial property is first vacant there is a rates free period of three months for most properties and six month for industial properties. After this period, the ratepayer will generally become liable to pay these rates again, even if the premises remain empty.

There are complex rules which govern empty rates but but by using our 30+ years experience our team will develop strategies to mitigate, empty rates.

Planning is key, particularly where the property is to remain empty for a long period of time and we are able to offer long and short term strategies to migiate your business rates liability. 

Business Rates Audit

A Business Rates Audit will ensure that you have been paying the correct Business Rates (dating back to 1995).

The calculation of Rates bills are complex and can involve the application of a number of types of Rates Relief, as such errors are not uncommon.

We review all allowances, legislation and circumstances of your occupation and can go as far back as 1995.

Following this we undertake a complete reconciliation of all bills

When overpayments are identified we will contact the Billing Authority on your behalf and arrange for a refund (normally in the form of a cheque) to be sent to you.

Once you have received monies owed we issue our invoice, if no overpayments are identified no fee is due.

Please be aware that this service is not associated in any way with conventional rating appeals. Therefore, if you already have an agent acting on your behalf this would simply be a service to complement their work and would not affect your relationship with them.

Business Rates Administration

Our team are able to offer administrative support for larger portfolios. This service includes checking that the current bills are correct, identifying and applying for local reliefs and speaking to Local Authorities on your behalf to save you the time and inconvenience of doing so. 


We have over 30 years experience lodging business rates appeals across multiple rating lists. We have been instructed on a wide range of property types including :

  • bus depots
  • garages
  • storage compounds
  • firing range
  • liveries
  • amusement arcades
  • public houses
  • hotels
  • landfill & recycling sites
  • nurseries.

Business Rates valuations are a matter of opinion but are guided by statute. Therefore, there are many grey areas and and we have the experience to offer professional guidance and advice to best suit your organisation