Pub landlords urged to be aware of local closures to help with business rate appeals

By Gurjit Degun

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Business rates Business rates in england and wales

All change: keep an eye on developments in the local area
All change: keep an eye on developments in the local area
Licensees are being encouraged to make sure that they are aware of what is going on around their venues — such as major retailers closing down — to help with business rates appeals.

Michael Yass, a business rates specialist at Chesterton Humberts, said that this key information could help with appeals for 2010 business rates bills, as well as those for 2015 bills.

The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) calculates business rates every five years but bases them only on turnover. So a drop in turnover within the five years may be grounds for an appeal.

Yass explained that knowing what is going on in the vicinity of your pub could help build a case for an appeal.

He said that one of his clients who ran a high-street pub was unable to explain a significant drop in turnover until questions were asked about the local retailers.

A Marks & Spencer store had closed and an Asda opened on the outskirts of the town centre with a large clothing store nearby,
forcing footfall out of the town-centre.

Yass added: “Licensees need to be aware of how the backdrop of trading conditions have changed. Make sure you keep an eye on which retailers are setting up and which ones are leaving. This can all affect footfall to the area.

“Publicans need to be focused on what has changed in their vicinity if they want to appeal their previous rates bills and the forth-coming bill. The VOA will calculate business rates on your turnover, not what’s going on in the immediate area of the pub.”

He added: “If licensees are able to understand the benefits that their awareness can have, then they’ll be helping themselves.”

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