Home Brexit Could Brexit represent an opportunity for businesses to challenge their business rate liabilities?

Could Brexit represent an opportunity for businesses to challenge their business rate liabilities?

by LLB Reporter
6th Feb 19 3:23 pm

As uncertainty around the Brexit ‘deal’ continues, could it represent an opportunity for businesses to challenge their rateable values? Nigel Katseph, associate and business rates adviser at property consultants, Vail Williams LLP, discusses.

The future of Brexit remains uncertain, as Government continues its attempt to resolve the Irish Backstop issue.

If the Government fails to get cross party agreement to adopt Theresa May’s ‘deal’ by the 29th March, will we simply crash out with no deal?

The PM is fighting harder than ever to ensure this doesn’t happen, but the EU doesn’t look like budging any time soon.

If we do crash out without a deal, could this lead to a sudden catastrophic drop of property demand, consumer confidence and commercial property values – both rental and capital values?

It’s certainly possible.

So, with this in mind, is there an opportunity for businesses to challenge their rate assessments because of a Material Change in Circumstance (MCC)?

Although economic factors are disregarded for rating valuation purposes, other physical factors such as less demand and over supply of vacant available properties could count.

As expert rating surveyors, it has not escaped our notice that the Brexit date also coincides with the Antecedent Valuation Date (1 April 2019) for the next Revaluation in 2021.

Failure to hammer out a deal by the 29th could have a direct impact on rateable values, which would represent an opportunity for businesses to claw something back from this Brexit mire.

So, how might Brexit contribute towards a MCC in, say, offices?

Currently, there is an overall shortage of skills within the high-spec technology, data science and many service sectors.

If investment in the UK dries up from the EU, we could see a significant negative impact on the property requirements of all of the above sectors, especially if the trade and immigration barriers come down, creating a potential oversupply of superfluous office and R&D premises post Brexit, deal or no deal.

Indeed, a fall in workers has already been felt industry-wide, with specialist technology recruitment firm, Gordon & Eden, reporting a 40 percent drop in applications from EU citizens.

It seems convincing national and international candidates to consider roles here, despite Westminster’s attempts to tell the world that we’re ‘just fine on our own’, no longer works we’re just too risky a bet.

Not only this, a combination of Brexit and already tightly squeezed personal finances is putting pressure on the UK economy and could even signal a recession is on the way, if the latest data from the Insolvency Service is anything to go by.

The number of UK companies entering into insolvency is on the rise, reaching its highest levels since 2014, and retail insolvencies have risen by 9%.

The data paints a grim picture for the retail industry, as UK shops endured the worst Christmas in a decade, with sales flatlining.

Leave a Commment

You may also like


Sign up to our daily news alerts

[ms-form id=1]