Frequently Asked Questions

What are Business Rates?
Business Rates (also known as Non Domestic Rates) are a Government tax on all commercial properties set by the Valuation Office Agency and the enforced and collected by local councils.

How are Business Rates Calculated?
There are two main factors: the Rateable Value of the property and the annual level of the Uniform Business Rate (UBR) also known as the business rates multiplier. Business rates are worked out by multiplying the ‘Rateable Value’ of your property (set by the Valuation Office Agency) by the business rates multiplier.

What is the Uniform Business Rate?
The Uniform Business Rate (UBR) is the multiplier that is set annually and applied to the Rateable Value to calculate the Rates Payable.

What does Rates Payable mean?
The Rates Payable is the actual amount of Business Rates payable on a specific property. This amount should take into account any reductions or discounts that have been applied should the property meet the required eligibility or qualification criteria.

Who Pays Business Rates?
Most business premises are assessed for rates and have a Rateable Value. Living accommodation is generally treated as domestic property and is subject to the council tax instead. Apart from living accommodation, there are several types of property that are exempt from business rates, including agricultural land and most churches.

Who Collects Business Rates?
You will receive a business rates bill from your local council, usually in February or March. This bill is for the tax year ahead.

Who are RVA?
RVA Surveyors are an independent No Reduction No Fee Business Rates specialist who represent and act for and on behalf of commercial property owners, landlords and tenants.

Are RVA part of any Local Authority?
No. RVA are wholly independent of any local authority, council or government body/department. Our independence allows us to ensure we are only focussed on achieving reduction for our clients.

Why was I called by RVA?
Whilst no guarantees or assurances can be given or made, we believe, through analysis conducted, that there is a likelihood that there could be a reduction in your Business Rates and this would have been highlighted to you when we made the initial contact.

Can I challenge my own business rates?
Of Course. Your rates are a tax and can be challenged/appealed by you at any time. However, the UK Business Rates System is incredibly complex and challenging. Engaging a specialist allows you the greatest possible chance of achieving a reduction whilst you get on with running your business.

Why should I use RVA?
We are the chosen Business Rates partner of over 28,000 properties in the UK equating to over half a billion pound in Rateable Value.

We specialise in reducing Business Rates liabilities through a wide range of reasons and methods together with the knowhow, skills and resource to afford you the best possible chance of success.

What does the RVA Assessor do?
Our Assessor will explain to you the role that RVA undertake as your Business Rates Partner; with a view to identifying potential savings in your business rates liability. The assessor will look to confirm as much information about the property, they will also start to build a profile to pass on to our Operations and Surveying department.

The assessor is not a surveyor however once you have instructed RVA you may also be visited by a surveyor at a later date if we feel it is appropriate to your case. Having chosen RVA Surveyors our Ratings Assessor will also make you aware of the processes going forward as our aim is to make sure that you have a hassle free process and are kept informed.

How long can I sign for?
Agreements may be allowed for up to 3 rating periods but not less than 1 rating period. In any event we will operate on your behalf with No Fee payable unless a reduction is applied to your business rates.

Will I receive copies of my agreement with RVA?
Once you have signed RVA’s agreement and supporting documents we will leave you copies in a carbon form. There may also be other original (non-carbon) forms that you will be required to be sign that allow RVA to progress the process of appeals and reductions. If you require copies of these for your own reference they can be supplied to you from our Head Office via email or post.

How do RVA achieve rates savings?
These reasons and methods are wide and varied and will differ based on your property type and location. They include but are not limited to; Rateable Value Reductions, potential Business Rate Reliefs & Discounts, Audits of business rates accounts, Credit Balances & Historical Errors and/or omissions.

How much will it cost me?
RVA operate two fee options;

By far our most popular agreement is No Reduction No Fee basis (NRNF). Simply put, this means that unless there is a reduction and or rebate in your rates payable for your property there are absolutely no fees for our services. Where a reduction or rebate is applied the fee is calculated as a percentage of the reductions and rebates applied and only for the years that they are applied (both retrospectively and for future years) within the agreement period.

RVA may also offer a client the option to make and upfront fee contribution this will be set out in your agreement.

Our transparent fee structure means that there are never any hidden charges or surprises.

Will a surveyor need to attend my property
The assessor will look to confirm as much information about the property, they will also start to build a profile to pass on to our Operations and Surveying department. The assessor is not a surveyor however once you have instructed RVA you may also be visited by a surveyor at a later date if we feel it is appropriate to your case.

What if RVA can’t save me money on my rates?
Whether or not an initial reduction is applied to your property, we will, for the duration of the agreement, continue to monitor your property, your area and business sector looking for further opportunities to reduce your liabilities as an ongoing service to you. This is provided by RVA at no cost, the only time a fee is payable is if a reduction or rebate is applied to your property.

What happens if I change my mind
If you wish to cancel the agreement with RVA you are given a 7 day cooling off period in which to do so.