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Business rates and approval from the Valuation Office Agency (VOA)

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Business rates and approval from the Valuation Office Agency (VOA)

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Hi,

I have rented a small unit recently. When contacted council for business rates, they informed me that this unit is partition of bigger unit and that have been unofficially partitioned without sanction/appropriate approval from the Valuation Office Agency (VOA).  They advised to apply via the VOA website for the partition and necessary re-evaluation. Now I have three questions

1.       Can I apply via the VOA website for the partition and necessary re-evaluation as tenant? If yes, what is procedure and what documents I need to send VOA.

2.       Was landlord wrong renting partition without sanction/appropriate approval from the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) or it was my fault not checking it on VOA website.

3.       If only landlord has right to apply for approval from the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) and he don't apply for it then what can I do?

Thank you


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Replies

  • lincroft1710lincroft1710 Forumite
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    The VOA do not give approval for anything! It is  not their job. The VOA just assess properties for rates and is usual for the council to inform the VOA if a property needs to be assessed or reassessed. I don't know how easy it is to phone them now as most of the offices have closed (this was way before CV) or send an email, but this is all you need to do to ask them to assess your property.
  • J_BJ_B Forumite
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    The VOA just assess properties for rates and is usual for the council to inform the VOA if a property needs to be assessed or reassessed.
    Long story short - we did up a redundant property in N Wales a while back - got the building regs approval and expected a rating bill to follow. 9 months later nothing, so phoned council, who told me I needed to tell them it was now rateable!!!!
    They contacted VOA - 9 months later still nothing. Just finally got into dialogue with VOA, when lockdown!
    We now have no business rates approval, so no SB £10K grant!  😤

    I don't know how easy it is to phone them now
    It's very easy ;-)  the ansafone cuts in immediately saying they ain't taking calls!!!




  • lincroft1710lincroft1710 Forumite
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    It may have changed in recent times, but I worked in the VOA for 35 years and In the several offices I worked, our main method of notification of commercial properties needing new or revised rating assessments was from all the councils in the areas we covered. And there were plenty of them!
  • vista99vista99 Forumite
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    @lincroft1710 Please help us to write sample letter to VOA. How much time it will take for valuation. Thank you for your time
  • lincroft1710lincroft1710 Forumite
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    Svista99 said:
    @lincroft1710 Please help us to write sample letter to VOA. How much time it will take for valuation. Thank you for your time
    Second point first, I have no idea how long it would take them to come out and value, at the moment it will depend not only on their workload but also how they are operating during CV19.

    Regarding the letter, as well as your/company name, correspondence address, telephone no and e-mail address, simply say

    Dear Sirs
    (FULL POSTAL ADDRESS inc POSTCODE OF YOUR UNIT)

    We took occupation of the above unit on (DATE). At present it has not been been assessed for rates as until recently it formed part of a larger unit. Would you please now assess our unit for rating?

    Yours Faithfully
  • vista99vista99 Forumite
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    lincroft1710 Thank you for your help. I have sent letter yesterday.
  • vista99vista99 Forumite
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    lincroft1710 I got reply from VOA. They advise me to send following

    "Please reply with the following information:

    •           Intended use of property (shop, office, workshop, etc)

    •           Plan of property with measurements

    •           Date occupied OR

    •           Copy of completion notice

    •           Copy of market particulars OR of let

    •           Copy of lease/licence stating rent and date set

    •           Details of property finish (heating, air conditioning, sprinklers, lift, etc)

    •           (Advertisement displays) Correspondence address"

    I don't know what are
    1. Copy of completion notice
    2. Copy of market particulars OR of let
    3. (Advertisement displays)

    You help in regard will be much appreciated.

    Kind Regards
  • lincroft1710lincroft1710 Forumite
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    vista99 said:
    lincroft1710 I got reply from VOA. They advise me to send following

    "Please reply with the following information:

    •           Intended use of property (shop, office, workshop, etc)

    •           Plan of property with measurements

    •           Date occupied OR

    •           Copy of completion notice

    •           Copy of market particulars OR of let

    •           Copy of lease/licence stating rent and date set

    •           Details of property finish (heating, air conditioning, sprinklers, lift, etc)

    •           (Advertisement displays) Correspondence address"

    I don't know what are
    1. Copy of completion notice
    2. Copy of market particulars OR of let
    3. (Advertisement displays)

    You help in regard will be much appreciated.

    Kind Regards
    1. Probably won't apply as this is a notice issued by the council when a building is completed and would usually be sent to the building's owner. Just reply you have not been issued with a completion notice.

    2. If the property was put on the open market to let, just a copy of the To Let particulars issued by the landlord or estate agent. If none, same reply as above

    3, Does not apply to you, so don't worry.

    I don't know whether the above requests are as a result of COVID 19 restrictions or current VOA policy. but when I was in the VOA (many yrs ago now) we would have just gone out, taken our own measurements and asked any relevant questions on site
  • vista99vista99 Forumite
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    lincroft1710 Thank you for your help.
  • vista99vista99 Forumite
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    lincroft1710  Thank you again for your help.  I received following reply from VOA.
    "   Thank you for your email enquiry.

    The property is already rated as 1st Floor ….. . It sound like you actually need to split this main property into multiple.

    To appeal the rateable value of a property in the 2017 Rating List or make any changes to the details we hold such as a split, you will need to go through our online system of check, challenge, appeal.

    The first part of the process is check. This is where you will either confirm the information we hold is correct or make us aware of any changes that need to be made to the property.

    The steps you will need to go through in order to access this system are detailed below.

    The web address below will take you to the registration page where you will need to create a Government Gateway ID and password to access your own Valuation Office Agency account:

    https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/business-rates-property-linking/start

    When registering online you will be asked to verify your identity. When entering your date of birth please ensure that when a single digit is required a single digit is entered. For example if you were born on 1st January 1980 it should be entered as 1 1 1980. Finally, when entering your National Insurance number, please ensure there are no gaps in this and it is all in the same case, either lower case or capitals. The next page will then ask you for details from a passport, P60 or wage slip, this will then verify you.

    Once registered you will be asked to claim your property and supply a copy of a business rates bill displaying the current year, license or lease, stamp duty land tax form, land registry form or utility bill related to the business.

    After your link to the property has been approved you will be able to view your property's valuation and ‘Confirm or change your details’.

    Once a Check case has been submitted you will receive a notification with a case reference number.

    You will receive notification via email when correspondence has been issued, viewable by logging in to your online account. This may happen if we require any further evidence and then once a decision has been made.

    Only after you have submitted a check and received the decision can you then submit a challenge. "

    The property (First Floor) was split recently into two partitions and I have sublease for only one partition. By reading email from VOA I assume that only main lease holder or landlord can apply for partition of property. And I as tenant cannot apply for partition of that property. Leaseholder is neither willing to apply for partition nor helping in process. Kindly advise me how I can process this application. Thank you again for your help. 

     


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