Licensee 'infuriated' with business rates agent

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

Infuriating: Lancashire-based operator William Eidsforth said he felt 'vulnerable' after the incident (pictured: The Sun Inn pub / Credit: William Eidsforth)
Infuriating: Lancashire-based operator William Eidsforth said he felt 'vulnerable' after the incident (pictured: The Sun Inn pub / Credit: William Eidsforth)

Related tags Finance Lancashire Business rates

A Lancashire-based operator has been left feeling “vulnerable” by a company claiming to help firms reduce their business rates.

Licensee of the Sun Inn, Chipping, Preston, William Eidsforth, claimed that Overratted Rates Ltd, trading as Re Rates UK, contacted him in February last year to offer their services.

Eidsforth said Re Rates UK conducted a site visit and he paid £954 plus a £72 administration fee.

He claims the company did not carry out any work to contribute to the reduction of the pub’s business rates and is now chasing him for a 30% commission payment worth around £4,500.

Additionally, Eidsforth alleged while the pub’s business rates have been reduced since Re Rates UK “sought him out”, from £19,250 to £10,500, this was part of the Government’s hospitality and leisure retail rates relief scheme and not due to the company carrying out any work.

Commission payment 

The operator claimed he did not hear anything after he signed a contract with them but was contacted with the same sales pitch some months later, prompting him to request an update on his business rates from both Re Rates UK and the Valuations Office Agency (VOA) as “alarm bells” started to ring.

He said: “I rang the VOA to confirm if it was Re Rates UK’s doing and if it was then the bill would be paid; they confirmed it was part of the Government scheme.

“I asked if Re Rates UK had done any work towards getting the building rerated and they hadn’t, [the VOA said] the only work that had been done was what I had done to make them my agent.”

However, according to Eidsforth Re Rates UK assured him that the reduction was due to work they carried out.

The operator signed the contract with Re Rates UK following a site visit from a surveyor, sent by the company, and was aware if the appeal was successful, he would be required to pay the commission payment, which he agreed to do.

Stressful trade 

However, he alleges it was not made clear to him prior to signing the contract that the fee would be due irrespective of how the businesses rates were reduced, including if this was not achieved by Re Rates UK.

Eidsforth said: “I feel like I paid for the work to be done and they haven't done that.

“It’s also made me not really trust in anybody that would actually be a genuine help for the business.

“Running a pub in the climate that we're in, it just adds a massive pile of stress on to what's already a very stressful trade; it's quite infuriating really.”

The Morning Advertiser​ has made repeated attempts to contact Re Rates UK for comment, as detailed below, but had not received one at the time of publication.

Attempts made to contact Re Rates UK:

Phone calls made to Re Rates UK:

Friday 10 March 2023 
Monday 27 March 2023

Emails sent to Re Rates UK:

Friday 10 March 2023 

Tuesday 14 March 2023

Monday 27 March 2023

Related topics Professional Services & Utilities

Related news

Show more


Follow us

Pub Trade Guides

View more

The MA Lock In Podcast

Join us for a Lock In