How rateable value is worked out

Apart from properties that are exempt from business rates, each non-domestic property has a rateable value which is set by the valuation officers of the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), an agency of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs. They draw up and maintain a full list of all rateable values, which is available on their website. The rateable value of your property is shown on the front of your bill. This broadly represents the yearly rent the property could have been let for on the open market on a particular date. For the revaluation that came into effect on 1 April 2010, this date was set as 1 April 2008.

The valuation officer may alter the value if circumstances change. The ratepayer (and certain others who have an interest in the property) can appeal against the value shown in the list if they believe it is wrong. The government has announced there will be limits on the backdating of changes to rating assessments with effect from 1 April 2015. If the Valuation Office Agency receive your appeal on or after 1 April 2015 then the earliest they can back date any changes is that date. Your billing authority can only back-date any business rates rebate to that same date. You will continue to have your full legal rights to appeal your rating assessment.

The Valuation Office Agency will continue to fulfil their legal obligations to alter rating assessments if new information comes to light indicating the valuation is inaccurate. Any alterations they make on or after 1 April 2016 can only be backdated to 1 April 2015. Further information about the grounds on which appeals may be made and the process for doing so can be found on the GOV.UK website or obtained from your local valuation office.


You can appeal against the valuation but only if your rateable value is incorrect. This would be due to a material change in the property's circumstances such as a change in its physical state of use; a physical change in the locality; a change in the use of a neighbouring property. If you have been a victim of flooding there may also be grounds for appeal.

The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) values all business properties for business rates. The valuation is based on information the VOA holds about your property. You can view and update this information on the GOV.UK website.

You can contact the VOA through the GOV.UK website. If you are unable to use the online service you can also contact the VOA on 03000 501 501

By post:

Valuation Office Agency
Durham Customer Service Centre
Wycliffe House
Green Lane

The VOA is contacting businesses to request rental information to support the next revaluation of business rates in England and Wales – Revaluation 2023.

If you receive a request please complete and submit your up-to-date details. It is important to provide this information to ensure business rates are fair and accurate. You can find more information on GOV.UK.

Do I have to continue to pay when I make an appeal?

Legally, rates are payable even if an appeal is underway. Any rates overpaid will be refunded and credited with interest where appropriate.

Rating advisers

Ratepayers do not have to be represented in discussions about their rateable value or their rates bill. Appeals against rateable values can be made free of charge. However, ratepayers who do wish to be represented should be aware that members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Institute of Revenues, Rating and Valuation are qualified and are regulated by rules of professional conduct designed to protect the public from misconduct. Before you employ a rating adviser, you should check that they have the necessary knowledge and expertise, as well as appropriate indemnity insurance. Take great care and, if necessary, seek further advice before entering into any contract.

Take great care and, if necessary, seek further advice before entering into any contract.