All commercial property occupiers in Northern Ireland are being advised to provide Land and Property Services (LPS) with accurate information as part of the Business Rates Revaluation Process 2020 in order to avoid receiving an incorrect rates bill, according to a director at Lambert Smith Hampton.
Businesses will receive electronic questionnaires from LPS this weekend – 1 April 2018 – which will request details on current lease agreements including rent, incentives and capital contributions. This information must be returned within a short time frame and will be relied upon in the valuation process.
The next business rates revaluation for non-domestic properties in Northern Ireland will come into effect on 1 April 2020. This will be five years since the last revaluation, and seven years since the antecedent valuation date of 1st April 2013.
Mark Elliott, director of professional services at Lambert Smith Hampton, said: “A lot has changed in the Northern Ireland property market since the last valuation process. We have seen improvements across all property types and as a result of that we are likely to see an increase in most rates for the period from 2020.
“LPS relies solely on the details it receives during this questionnaire process to apply property rates and we are aware of several appeals which are still ongoing from the last revaluation. The organisation will be keen to ensure that it is working with clear and reliable facts. Due to a limited amount of available information following the last questionnaire a number of shopping centre schemes faced rates bills which were significantly higher than they should have been and following an appeal process they were reduced by up to 30 per cent.”
He added: “Providing as much correct information as possible will support the integrity and reliability of the process to ensure that more businesses receive fair valuations which are reflective of the market rent of their properties. We are recommending that our clients take professional advice before submitting information, and we are providing detailed business rates advice in respect of all commercial property sectors.”