Business rates are payable on most commercial property, and are how businesses contribute to the cost of local services. They're also known as national non-domestic rates (NNDR).

The amount you pay is set by the government and is based on the estimated yearly rent of the property. The estimate is judged by the Valuation Office Agency on 1 April 2023 and standard rates set by government.

Business rates are payable on:

  • shops
  • offices
  • warehouses
  • factories
  • self-catering accommodation such as holiday homes
    • if you intend to make the accommodation available for commercial letting to short stay guests for 140 days or more in a year

The rates collected are paid into a central government pool. They're redistributed to local authorities based on the number of people living in the area.

You can view Sutton's current performance on collecting business rates in the borough.

Rateable value

Each non-domestic property has a rateable value unless they're exempt from paying business rates.

The value is set by the valuation officers of the Valuation Office Agency (VOA). It draws up and maintains a full list of all rateable values.

The rateable value of your property is shown on the front of your bill. This represents the yearly rent that the property could have been let for on a particular date. For the revaluation that came into effect on 1 April 2023, this date was set as 1 April 2021. The next revaluation comes into effect on 01 April 2026.

Valuation officers can change the value if the circumstances of the property have changed. The ratepayer, and certain others who have an interest in the property, can appeal against the value if they believe it's wrong.

You can find out more about appealing the rateable value on the VOA website or from your local valuation office.

If your appeal is successful against a value that came into force on 1 April 2023, your value will usually be backdated to then. There are exceptions to this.

Rating advisers

If you want to lodge a proposal to change your rateable values, you can use an independent rating adviser.

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.

If you do want to be represented, members of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors and the Institute of Revenues Rating and Valuation are qualified and are regulated by rules designed to protect the public from misconduct.

Before you employ a rating adviser, you should check 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.