Update on Business Rates

The 2017 rating list cycle is due to close on 1 April 2023. The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) the government department that calculate business rate valuations operate a system called check-challenge-appeal that business rates payers must use if they dispute the valuation on their property. The cut off for any checks to the existing business rates valuation must be submitted by 31st March 2023.

The uniform business rate multiplier for next year is expected to exceed its current level of 52p in the pound so even if your current valuation remains the same the cost of your business rates bill will increase.

Business rate payments could rise higher than they should be if values are not checked before the cut off date. This will damage many businesses at a time when all costs are rising. One report has quoted retail rents drop by 17.6% since their peak in 2018.

It is the responsibility of all business owners to check their rateable values and leaving it to the last minute risks that the Valuation Office will not get through a backlog of checks in time for the deadline. Much of the work undertaken by the VOA will be in compiling 2023 rating list, so checks that are not correctly presented to the VOA could be ignored.  The period since the last revaluation has seen some very difficult trading times with many commercial property sectors showing a decline in rental values and a notable lack of transactions.

If you feel that you need to check your business rates valuation, go to the government website:


Need help to organise a ‘check’

If you want help organising a ‘check’ with the Valuations Office Agency (VOA) contact us today at info@mjdhughes.com

Before we can help you we will need the following information:

  • Name and full address of the property including postcode.
  • If it is an office or other unit within a shared property, then details of the main property.
  • Full details of any lease on a property but as a minimum, the name of the tenant and the name of the landlord as they appear on the lease, the actual area of property the lease relates to, the start date, end date, next rent review date, and current rent.
  • Your full contact details, so that we can contact you with initial questions to assess whether there is ground for a check or challenge, or if a full revaluation is needed.

Without any of the above it will be impossible for us to find the correct information for you. In many cases there are no grounds for changes in the business rates valuation and it is better to confirm this with clients sooner rather than later so as to avoid costly fees.

For more information on business rates go to:


Permitted Development Rights explained

Jen Lemen is a co-founder of Property Elite, Chartered Surveyor and RICS APC assessor, she explains Permitted Development Rights, including the new MA class, when this comes into force and the restrictions that are applied.

What are PD rights?

PD rights allow certain types of development to be carried out without full planning consent being granted. This could, for example, facilitate certain changes of use. PD rights are generally limited (by Article 4 directions) in certain areas such as Conservation Areas, National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Where PD rights are available, prior approval is still generally required which allows the Local Planning Authority to consider the proposals, impacts and mitigation measures in relation to factors such as transport, parking, flooding, contamination and noise.

What does MA stand for?

MA stands for Mercantile to Abode. Class MA is, therefore, a PD right set out under the General Permitted Development Order (GDPO).

When does the new Class MA PD right apply from?

1 August 2021.

What is the new MA PD right?

Class MA creates a PD right from Use Class E to Use Class C3 Residential. This will essentially help to increase the supply of housing by revitalising redundant commercial stock (commonly located in high street locations).

What is Use Class E?

Use Class E encompasses retail shops, cafes, restaurants, financial & professional services, indoor sport and fitness, medical or health services, creches, day nurseries, day centres, offices, research & development and light industry.

Are there any restrictions on the Class MA PD right?

Yes, these include:

  • The requirement to apply for prior approval
  • The Use Class E building must have been vacant for a continuous period of at least 3 months prior to the application for prior approval (i.e., no tenants in occupation for this period)
  • The Use Class E building must have been in this use for a continuous period of at least 2 years prior to the application for prior approval
  • The cumulative floorspace of the building must be less than 1,500 sq m
  • The building and site cannot be part of a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), be listed, a scheduled monument, a safety hazard area or a military explosives area
  • The building cannot be within an AONB or within other site-specific designations

Jen can be contacted on jen@property-elite.co.uk The Property Elite website can be reached via this link: RICS APC Training, Support and Coaching | Property Elite