21 Mar 22 by Amy Durkin

One area in which we work a great deal is actioning splits, mergers and other physical changes to a property or site. These can either be changes that have been made recently or could reflect an inaccuracy of VOA records from many years ago. Depending on the facts of the case, we can backdate any splits, mergers or changes as far back as 1st April 2017.

Occupiers may expand into next door offices, in which case merging the properties for business rates purposes may be beneficial. The Rateable Value of most types of commercial property is based on a price per square metre. This is determined through analysing comparable evidence and with the knowledge of the surveyor. Generally, the larger a property is, the smaller the price per square metre is. For this reason, it is often beneficial to merge two adjacent properties which have the same occupier. To merge properties, they must be contiguous. This means the rooms must share a wall to wall or ceiling to floor connection. They do not require a door between them, which means many more individual rooms are eligible to be merged into a larger assessment.

Splitting a property into two or more assessments could also be beneficial to an occupier. Often an occupier will have separate companies for different functions of their business. Arranging for each business to be located in a different room (assessment) often means small business rates relief can be applied, saving the client the cost of their original rates bill. Vickery Holman are experts in this field and would be delighted to advise you further.