Appeal My Rates UK
What is a property merge?
A merge occurs when one rateable property is merged from 2 or more parts. When this happens, the original properties are removed from the rating list and 1 new property is created in the list.
Why would a property be merged?
If there is one occupier in 2 or more adjoining properties they should be merged for rating purposes.
Who can merge a property?
You can propose a merge yourself via the VOA Check Challenge portal, but we wouldn’t advise it as it is fraught with difficulties and complex regulations. The council will often propose a merge if they think it should be done. You can instruct an expert company such as us to propose the merge on your behalf.
What are the legal requirements?
Each of the separate parts must be occupied by the same person or business. Each part must be physically connected to the other in some way. There are some very complicated legal definitions for this but we would advise you if it is possible.
What are the benefits of a merge?
If 2 or more properties are merged together they will naturally become a single larger space and this can attract a lower rateable value per square metre due to something called quantum discount. We will advise you if a merge will benefit from this discount. Quantum discount can often reduce overall rateable value by 10% or more.
What are the downsides of a merge?
We would not advise to propose a merge if there were any likely downsides.
Can a merge be reversed?
Yes. By proposing a split to the VOA – please see the article on property split.
Do I need my landlords permission to merge the property?
We would always advise you to consult with your landlord and we are happy to help with this if instructed.
What is the process?
If you contact us regarding a merge we will firstly gather evidence to establish if a merge is legally possible and if it is in your best interests. If all is well, we will propose a fee to you and once instructed we will prepare a merge proposal to the VOA. This would normally involve a site survey and producing floor plans. The process can take many months but if the proposal is approved it would be backdated to the date the actual merge occurred.
What are your fees?
A merge proposal is always charged in two stages. There will be an instruction fee, usually between £1000 and £2000 and then a completion fee, which may be a fixed amount or may be linked to savings in rates payable, depending on the case. We will explain our fees to you once we have all the facts we need to give you best advice.