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News - 18/07/2011

Slash in business rates for Leeds office occupiers

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Office occupiers in central Leeds are poised to see business rates cut by 10% following a successful appeal at the Valuation Tribunal.

The decision which applies to central Leeds office rates from December 2008 to 1 April 2010, could also apply to Rateable Values going forward under the 2010 Rating List.

Case brought forward by group of leading property professionals

Under current Rating law, ratepayers are allowed to challenge rating assessments where a material change in an area reduces property values. We led the case along with Gerald Eve, Storeys:SSP and CB Richard Ellis.

We argued that the amount of oversupply within the Leeds office market had adversely affected rental levels and that, as a consequence, Rateable Values should be reduced.

After a three day hearing, the Valuation Tribunal agreed and directed the Valuation Officer to apply a reduction of 10% to office assessments backdated to 1 December 2008 to all offices within a 15 minute walk of Leeds Central Railway Station.

Relief for Landlords and Tenants in Leeds City Centre

Paul Nash, Director of Rating, said: “This is a fantastic result for both landlords and tenants given the extensive development which took place through the middle part of the last decade and the subsequent application of full rate liabilities for empty buildings, which came into effect from 1 April 2008.”

Following the rating revaluation which took place at 1 April 2010, we believe that the same factors should apply to the new assessments under the 2010 List, where most were increased by at least 20% at the revaluation.

Paul added: “Although the valuation date at the revaluation is different from the 2005 List, the physical existence of new empty offices is a factor which we can take into account at 1 April 2010.”

Occupiers benefitting from historic reductions in assessment and liability

Paul concluded: “Office occupiers in the city centre are benefiting from historic reductions in assessment and liability, but ought to be enjoying the benefit of a lower overhead going forward under the 2010 Rating List, which will be in place until 31 March 2015.”

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