Business rates valuations and appeals, compliance
and rates account management.
We offer a complete range of business rates services delivered by a team of experts local to your organisation, underpinned with over 50 years of experience in the rating industry. We cover sectors spanning automotive, industrial and logistics, offices and serviced offices, retail, leisure and hospitality and more.
Our specialist teams work throughout the UK, strategically based in our Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Scotland and Uxbridge offices.
£1.5 billionin total saved for our clients since 2010
£500 millionof savings recovered by our Accurates team including £3m in one single review
£29 millionrefunded to clients since 2010 by our Accurates property usage reviews
70,000properties and circa £800m in client funds managed by our Rate Account Management team p/a
100+specialists including Rating Diploma Holders
What we offer
Extensive experience in both the public and private sectors
Rateable value is the keystone of calculating your business rates assessment. However, it is not an exact science and is based upon a hypothetical opinion of value reached by the Valuation Office Agency, a division of HMRC. It is a complex area and requires specialist rating expertise to challenge it. We work closely with our Valuations team and draw upon their in-depth market knowledge in order to effectively analyse data and query the approaches adopted by the Valuation Office Agency.
Our rating surveyors have extensive experience in both the public and private sectors, having had experience of providing evidence at both Valuation Tribunal and Upper Tribunal. We monitor all changing legislation and are well positioned to provide all of our clients with regular update newsletters throughout the duration of an instruction.
We deliver timely advice on whether it's appropriate to launch appeals, setting out a clear business case. We have the valuation expertise and specialist rating knowledge to ensure that your rateable value is at the lowest level. We actively respond to the government on any prospective changes to legislation and we will ensure that you are informed of any changes in the law that might affect your rate liability. Our services include co-ordination with other bodies, prior agreement of a new property or for the 2021 Rating List, material change of circumstance appeals, focus on methods of valuation and case law specialists. We have specialist surveyors within the team to handle every area of the market.
Forensic examination of your payments record
The Accurates team is made up of highly skilled, forensic rating compliance audit specialists. The majority are Institute of Revenues Rating and Valuation qualified former local authority revenues officers. The other part of the team is made up of data and systems analysts, whose prime objective is to supplement your own existing cost management systems.
Accurates is the industry leader, due to its specialist expertise, in providing advice on whether or not rate liabilities (current and historic) demanded by billing authorities, are compliant with current local tax collection/enforcement legislation and best practice.
We forensically examine your historical payments record to identify instances of overpayments in rates, which can be as a result of inaccurate calculation at the time, or through charges that were not compliant with the legislation in force.
Our services include: desktop assessment of liabilities, liability and collection compliance, best practice and due diligence audits, business rates health-check, web-based compliance audit reports and business rate administration.
Proactive advice on managing and minimising rate liabilities
Empty rates are the breaking point for some in the current market. By eliminating business rate relief on empty properties, companies are being penalised for situations where there is no income. Empty rates are making a bad situation worse.
We played a key role in the consultation that preceded the introduction of the new legislation, helping to limit its impact on owners of empty properties. With a legal consultant on board, we can offer proactive advice on managing and minimising rate liabilities now and in the future. We can ensure compliance with new and existing legislation.
Managing your rates liability
We manage client rates liability using a dedicated accounts team and surveyors to deal with portfolio changes and appeals. Our team can additionally take on responsibility for the rate function altogether, providing a service that integrates our expertise in rating and management accounts.
We will ensure that only correct rate demands are paid and that any refunds and interest due are paid promptly, making sure all payments are traceable against individual properties and providing regular, comprehensive reports to keep clients in touch with all developments.
Our Services include: dedicated specialists, rate demands, funding and payment, reporting and forecasting.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Advice
Grants and reliefs for COVID-19 related lockdowns/restrictions
The Government introduced a number of grant schemes during 2020 and 2021 as a consequence of local or national lockdowns. Grants were predominantly targeted at businesses/premises that were forced to close and eligibility depended on the type of business/sector a business operated in. The last of the grant schemes (Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant) was introduced in December 2021 and closed in March 2022. Similar schemes existed in Wales and the Scottish government released targeted grants, each of which had specific deadlines.
In December 2021 the government confirmed details of a £1.5bn business rates relief fund to support businesses in England who have been ‘adversely affected by the pandemic and have been unable to adequately adapt to that impact’. Whilst the government has provided guidance for the ‘COVID-19 Additional Relief Fund’ (CARF) including certain restrictions, each local authority must develop a policy for their individual area to meet local needs. Each local authority policy should include details of their unique application process, evidence required, eligibility criteria, how relief will be distributed and the deadline for their scheme.
Some local authorities opened their schemes early in 2022 and have now closed, whereas others have not yet released their schemes. As the relief relates to the financial year 2021/22 it has to be awarded by 30 September 2022 so we expect all schemes to be completed by this date. Details of each scheme should be published on the relevant local authority website once released.
As a result of COVID-19, during 2020/21 and 2021/22 retail relief/discount was expanded to support businesses. Retail relief/discount is available for certain types of eligible business/premises in England, Scotland and Wales as follows:
To continue to support businesses through the COVID-19 crisis, in 2022/23 retail relief will be provided at 50% to qualifying properties subject to a cash cap of £110,000 per business. Retail relief for 2022/23 is subject to subsidy control (retail relief in 2020/21 and 2021/22 was not subject to subsidy control).
To continue to support businesses through the COVID-19 crisis, in 2022/23 retail relief will be provided at 50% to qualifying properties for the first 3 months of 2022/23 subject to a cash cap of £27,500 per ratepayer. Subsidy control allowances also apply.
To continue to support businesses through the COVID-19 crisis, in 2022/23 retail relief will be provided at 50% to qualifying properties subject to a cash cap of £110,000 per business. Subsidy control allowances also apply.
European State Aid/Subsidy Control
Whilst the UK left the EU on 1 January 2021, the government had advised local authorities to continue working to EU State Aid limits until a subsidy regime is confirmed. The latest grant guidance for England confirms that new subsidy allowances have now been established for the COVID-19 business grants and CARF schemes based on the principles of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) with the EU. Retail relief for 2020/2021 and 2021/22 is not subject to state aid/subsidy regime but 2022/23 will be subject to subsidy control.
Government Fails to Act on Business Rates Reform or Provide Clarity on Transitional Arrangements in Spring Statement
Receive regular updates from our Rating team
Head of Rating
I have over 30 years’ experience in the rating industry and lead a 90 plus rating team at Colliers International. When I took over responsibility for the team in 2005, it consisted of only a dozen people and has now grown into one of the leading rating advisory teams in the country. I am a member of Colliers International Management Executive as well as sitting on the company’s promotion panel.
I am regularly called upon by the national media to give my views on a range of business rates issues and I am vocal commentator on the 2017 Revaluation.
I started my career in the Valuation Office Agency in Kidderminster. I joined Gerald Eve in 2000 where I spent 10 years before moving to Gooch Webster (now Colliers International). I sit on the National Retail Panel of Rating Surveyors Association which provides guidance on how the RSA town committees work with the VOA and valuation matters. John sits on the RICS Rating Diploma Committee having passed the prestigious qualification in 2014.
Philip Harrison and I founded 'Accurates' in 2007, the Collier's Compliance and Audit team, which although forms an integral part of the Rating Team is now a leading brand in its own right.
Head of Operations
Hilary rejoined Colliers in 2016 after leaving in 2008 to work for The Co-operative Group as Head of Rating & Valuation. Hilary's role is now to oversee Client Relationship Management and Business Development for the Rating team and to work alongside John Webber, overseeing the operational side of the team.
Head of Accurates
I have over 20 years’ experience in the Rating industry and head up the Accurates team at Colliers International.
I started my career at Wolverhampton City Council in 1999 within the Revenues Department. I joined Colliers International in 2007 as a Rating Compliance & Audit Manager and was ultimately promoted to Head of Accurates in 2020. I am a diploma member of the Institute of Revenues, Rating and Valuation (IRRV).
Head of UK Rating Valuation Surveyors
Darren's professional career started with a national surveying firm specialising in Commercial and Industrial property. From here he moved to a West London company that specialsised in the London, Thames Valley and Home Counties market where he assisted in developing the professional services client base. This company was subsequently acquired by what is now Colliers International where Darren has focused on providing clients advice on business rates (UK Property Tax) with the Rating team, which has grown from year to year and are now the leading advisers in the industry.
As a Director of the Rating Department, Darren's experience covers bulk and specialist property and he is involved with client management for local and national companies.
Darren also oversees the UK Rating Valuation Surveyors team in ensuring the best advice and highest service is provided to clients.
Director - Accurates
Philip joined the rating team at Colliers CRE in December 2004. He is a fellow member of the Institute of Revenues, Rating and Valuation (FIRRV) and has approximately 20 years experience local government experience of the management and collection of local taxation charges. Philip is a former examiner for the Institute of Revenues, Rating and Valuation (Level 3 Certificate in Local Taxation - Non-Domestic Rating Law) and a former External Quality Assurance Officer for the IRRV's Level III Diploma in Local Taxation.
London - West End
Damien's first position within the surveying world was as a graduate working for RMC, based at their International Head Quarters in Thorpe, Egham, where he specialised in the contractors test method of valuation for rating purposes and provided lease consultancy and valuation advice to internal Group companies.
After six years working client side he took a position within the Professional Department at Strutt & Parker where he specialised in business rates advice and was an RICS registered valuer, undertaking commercial valuaton work for secured lending purposes. He was instrumental in the creation of a business rates advisory team within Strutt & Parker, and was appointed Head of Rating.
Damien joined Colliers International in January 2012 and is a Director within the London team providing advice on all property classes and continues to advise his first employer on the opportunities to mitigate their UK property tax liability.
I have over 20 years experience in Business Rates Appeal work.
I specialise in the following sectors, large industrial, breweries, distribution warehouses, large foodstores and car showrooms.
I cover the greater Midlands Area, I am a member of several business rate forums, tasked with negotiating an agreed valuation basis with the Valuaiton Office, on various property sectors.
I regularly attend Valuation Tribunal and have presented at Upper Tribunal, including the Simpsons Malt Case, regarding VT/VOA procedure.
As an RICS APC Assessor, I am responsible for training the Business Rates Graduates within the Birmingham Office and as part of a team, mentor all of the Birmingham Office Graduates, across disciplines.
With over 19 years commercial property experience 17 of which specialising in Business Rates, Ben's property knowledge is both diverse and detailed. Large, small, common and uncommon property types ranging from; ATM's to distribution centres, boat moorings to hospitals each requiring their own bespoke consideration and the application of each valuation methodology.
Ben is responsible for all Business Rate appeal work for Colliers in South West England and South Wales. Having also worked at Colliers West End office Ben has a unique perspective regionally and nationally.
Clients include; property funds, developers and occupiers from multinational PLCs to sole traders.
Advice, other than the correctness of a Rateable Value, includes compulsory purchase compensation, new premises budget forecasts, liability forecasts and rate mitigation.
Uncommon within commercial property services, Colliers Rating department share the risk with Clients and also share the reward of the savings achieved. Being results driven affords a strong collaborative relationship with Clients.
Recent highlights include;
- Regional HQ building - consent order to reduced an RV from £1,600,000 to £900,000 following an appeal to the High Court Lands Chamber.
- A client with multiple properties saved over £500,000 following work to get the assessments reducecd to RV £0 from a particularly advantageous date.
Mick started his career in the Valuation Office before moving to private practice in 1989. He joined Colliers in June 1997 and since that date has provided advice on minimising business rates liabilities to a wide range of clients nationwide.
He has experinece in dealing with all bulk classes, including shops, offices and indutrial property but has particular expertise in dealing with Licensed and Leisure properties.
Sophie Attwood BA (Hons) MSc MRICS – Director Head of Liverpool
Sophie is Head of Liverpool, a specialist in Rating with an in depth knowledge of valuation, rating principles and law in England, Wales & Scotland.
Her experience includes
- Rating casework settlement of a wide range of property classes and types throughout the UK including; retail, office, industrial, public houses, garages, gyms and bowling alleys.
- Experience of Market Rent Valuations including Rental Valuations, Contractors Valuations and Licensed Property Valuations.
- Preparing and presented cases at Valuation Tribunal.
Adam has extensive experience in rating valuation, having worked in both the public and private sectors, based within the North West.
This experience covers a wide range of properties including retail, office, large industrial, licensed premises and numerous public sector properties.
Louise's role within the Rating Department involves dealing with a large number of appeals on behalf of various local and national clients.
Louise has been involved in complex negotiations for a diverse portfolio of properties across the whole of Scotland in order to secure reductions in Rateable Value for clients.
Louise is also involved in Commercial Lease Consultancy comprising mostly of rent reviews, lease renewals and lease re-gears. Working for a number of national clients on their Scottish property porfolios.
Business Space Lease Advisory
David is a Senior Surveyor within the Colliers Professional Services Department.
Since joining Colliers International he has advised on rent reviews, lease renewals, lease restructures and Non-Domestic Rating work on behalf of a number of landlord and tenant clients.