Property Split

Appeal My Rates UK

What is a property split?

A split occurs when one rateable property is divided into 2 or more parts. When this happens, the original property is removed from the rating list and 2 or more new properties are created in the list.

Why would a property be split?

If there is more than one occupier in a property it should be split for rating purposes otherwise each occupier can be made jointly or severably liable for the rates.

Who can split up a property?

You can propose a split 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 split if they find out there is more than one occupier. You can instruct an expert company such as us to propose the split on your behalf.

What are the legal requirements?

Each occupier must have their own exclusive space and access. They must be carrying out different businesses. They must be separate legal entities – two limited companies for example or two different individuals. There must be a lease or tenancy agreement in place. Each occupier must have full control over their own business.

What are the benefits of a split?

Firstly, it makes sure that each occupier is responsible for their own business rates. Secondly it may be possible to achieve small business relief on the newly split properties if the are eligible. For example, an office with a rateable value of £23000 is split into two, each with a new rateable value of £12000. The new properties are now eligible to apply for small business relief whereas the original property was not. So in this example the original rates payable was around £12500 a year but after the split each property, if eligible (see section on small business relief) will pay no rates at all. If the split is backdated the original ratepayer will get a refund of all rates paid from the date of the split.

What are the downsides of a split?

When a split occurs, each new part is naturally smaller than the original part and that can mean that the rates per square metre will increase. We would advise you of the potential impact of this before you make a decision to instruct us.

Can a split be reversed?

Yes. By proposing a merge to the VOA – please see the article on property merge.

Do I need my landlords permission to split 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 split we will firstly gather evidence to establish if a split 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 split 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 split occurred.

What are your fees?

A split 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.

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