Publicans urged to gather more trading info to help business rates appeals

By Gurjit Degun

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Business rates Business rates in england and wales

Licensees are being warned to be more diligent with the information they gather when taking on a new pub, to help any future business rates appeals.

That’s the advice from business rates specialist Michael Yass, director at Chesterton Humberts, who explained that with tenants changing pubs more often, a thread of historic trading figures can be lost. To submit a successful business rates appeal, the Valuation Office Agency requires substantial trading accounts.

Yass said: “The frustrations we have are down to tenants now moving between pubs more frequently than they used to — after around 18 months to two years instead of up to 15 years.

“My advice to licensees moving to a new pub is to do whatever they possibly can to get the historic trading information because should they want to appeal their business rates, or get any other help negotiating issues with turnover, they’ll have some depth with the history.

“This has become such a point of discussion now because there are that many more closed pubs around.”
Yass added that issues of taking barrelage use into account can also confuse matters because a lot of pubs are now becoming food led. He explained that it would be hard to use barrelage information if a pub serves more food.

“Where there is sufficient evidence of trading for periods of time, it may then be easier to make sense of barrelage information,” he said.

“However, the more food-led a site, the less of a guide this becomes because food pubs are more related to wine and spirit sales, which are often not tied to a pub company or brewery.”

Related topics Property law

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