Business rates as they are commonly referred to are actually called Non-Domestic Rates and can therefore apply to property classed as non-domestic whether it is used privately or as part of a business. Non-domestic rates are assessed on the properties annual rental value (rateable value) multiplied by the nationally set multiplier (unless the small business multiplier applies).

Ellen Cottrell takes a look at why rating stables is controversial and what can be done to reduce your liability. Stables are tricky in that they can either fall under the properties Council Tax banding or can be assessed separately for non-domestic rates. So what are the general rules?

There is a myth that there is an allowance of so many stables per bedroom that won’t attract Business Rates although this is not exactly the case. Rather, the stables need to be ‘proportionate to the size and character of the living accommodation’. Although the number of stables will be taken into account, the location of the stables is key. The Valuation Office will consider whether the stables can be classed as domestic property or not.

Without going heavily into the legalities of the Act that governs rates, in brief, domestic property is defined as ‘property used wholly for the purposes of living accommodation or property that is a yard, garden, outhouse or other appurtenance belonging to or enjoyed with the living accommodation’.

To be classed as appurtenant to the living accommodation a key criteria is whether the stables fall within the ‘defined curtilage’. This generally means that stables that are used purely for private leisure purposes that are located within the area that falls naturally with the property, ie the garden, will be covered by the Council Tax band. In contrast, if you had 3 private stables in an adjoining paddock these would more than likely fall outside of the domestic curtilage and therefore be rated.

If you find your stables being included in the 2017 rates list and you think there are errors with your assessment then do give us a call. There may be scope to appeal your ratings assessment although do remember that you cannot withhold payment and your current ratings bill will need to be paid before appeal. When it comes to stables, whether private or not, we have experience in:

  • Ensuring the rates you are proposed to be charged are in line with other comparable properties
  • Ensure that you are being rated on the correct area of stables or equestrian facilities that you have
  • Advising you on reliefs that you may qualify for

Give Ellen a call or contact her by email for further advice – 01684 853400