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Guy Welfare, Chartered Surveyor

Business Rates represent one of the largest outgoings for most businesses after salaries, however, well-informed, professional advice can substantially reduce your rates liability.

Guy's approach is to look at all potential ways of reducing liability including appeals, reliefs and exemptions, bill checking and strategies for reducing empty property rates.

Although rates savings can often be achieved, it is important to understand that many existing assessments are fair, and an inappropriate appeal might alert the Valuation Office to a property being under-assessed, leading to an increase in rates.

The legal framework is complicated and constantly changing. To achieve the best results, make sure you employ a suitably qualified and experienced rating surveyor. This link to the Government's Valuation Office Agency gives independent advice on how to identify and engage a reputable rating surveyor.

Guy offers:

  • Over 25 years proven success in minimising clients' rates liabilities
    See how Guy has worked with clients in Case Studies (right) >
  • A free initial consultation to establish scope for savings
  • Incentive-based charges
  • Detailed knowledge and experience of many business/property types including pubs, hotels and leisure, rural businesses, retail and large industrial properties

If you need advice about how you can reduce your business rates liability, contact Guy now on 01453 767864 or 07828 119455 for an initial discussion.

Case studies

Rural Rates Relief

Guy was approached by a family-run rural petrol filling station in Somerset to advise on reducing their business rates liability.

Although there was limited scope to reduce the actual assessment, it quickly became apparent that the business would qualify for 50% rural rates relief if the assessment could be reduced to below the upper limit (RV £10,500 at the time).

An appeal was submitted and the required reduction achieved to resulting in a 50% reduction in liability.

Initially the Billing Authority were only prepared to give the rate relief for 12 months, but after further discussion, Guy was able to persuade them it should be backdated to 1st April 2005 resulting in total rates savings in excess of £13,000 plus interest.

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Maximising Rates Relief for Empty Properties

A client had purchased a former bakery building which incorporated a high street retail unit in separate assessment.

The property was vacant and Guy was asked to minimise any ongoing empty rates liability.

The factory was not in sufficiently poor condition to remove from the rating list, but the retail unit was a grade II listed building. By merging the two assessments Guy was able to persuade the local authority that the whole should be treated as a listed building which is exempt from empty rates liability. The client’s rates bill was therefore reduced to nil.

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