Find out more about us by reading what others have asked
Can you guarantee that you can make savings in my business rate charges?
Ruddle Merz aims to be transparent and professional at all times and follows the RICS code of practice.
Unlike many other rating agents, we would never guarantee that we could make savings for you. We need to undertake a survey to determine whether or not we feel it will be beneficial to submit a formal appeal. There is no charge for this service.
What we will guarantee is honesty; if we feel your rates could go up as a result of an appeal we will advise you accordingly.
Do I have to challenge my rateable value every year?
No, unless you make any changes to your property then your rateable value will remain the same for the duration of the rating list period. Changes include; demolishing part of the premises, adding an extension, changing the properties usage, or if the valuation officer alters the assessment.
Why does it take so long to challenge a rateable value?
Proposals to challenge rateable values are sent to the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) in England & Wales or the Scottish Assessors Association (SAA) in Scotland. The VOA/SAA set the timetable for dealing with appeals and places all appeal proposals into programmes, giving them a start date and a target date. This sets down the timeframe within which the VOA/SAA will hold discussions regarding the proposal.
Please note that this process is subject to change under the new proposals by the English and Welsh governments via the ‘Check, Challenge and Appeal’ process for 2017.
How far back can a reduction in rateable value be backdated?
As a general rule, any alteration can be backdated to the date when that rateable value came into force.
However, there are exceptions to this rule under certain legislation and jurisdiction. We look at every reduction on a case buy case basis.
What happens if I move out of a property?
Ruddle Merz only charge on savings achieved by us in actual rates payable during your period of liability. In other words, if we achieve savings on your behalf and you move out of a property, your liability to us ends on the date that you vacate the premises.
I have received a ‘Request For Information Form’ from the Valuation Office Agency (VOA)/Scottish Assessors Association (SAA), what should I do?
The “request for Information” (VO 6056) form is sent out by the VOA/SAA in order to obtain receipts and expenditure information which enables them to prepare valuations in advance of the forthcoming 2017 rating revaluation. There is now a statutory requirement to complete these forms within the set time period and failure to do so may result in a fine (not applicable in Scotland).
Ruddle Merz is more than happy to complete these forms on behalf of our clients and submit them to the VOA/SAA.
What do I do now?
Contact Ruddle Merz on 01575 757 777 to start making savings.