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Business rates are also referred to as National Non Domestic Rates (NNDR), or uniform business rates.
The National Non Domestic Rates (NNDR), or business rates, collected by Preston City Council are the way businesses, and others who occupy a non domestic property, make a contribution towards the cost of local services.
Generally, the occupier of the property is liable to pay the business rate charge.
If the property is empty and not an exempt property, then liability is that of the person entitled to possession, usually the owner or leaseholder.
As the legislation states that the occupier is the liable party, tenants paying rate inclusive rent should take care. If the landlord does not pay the rates to the council then the tenant will be held liable and may need to take action against the landlord to recover monies paid.
Agreements between landlords and their tenants are a matter between themselves and are not binding on a local (or billing) authority in the event of any dispute between those parties.
Other factors may be taken into account if it is not clear who the liable person should be, based on the above rules. For example with services accommodation and premises rated as one property but occupied by numerous persons.
Business rates are calculated using the same rate in the pound (the multiplier) across the whole of England.
There are two national multipliers, the first is the national non domestic rate multiplier which is used to calculate the rates for all businesses.
The second multiplier is for small businesses who qualify for small business rate relief.
The actual amount a business will pay is calculated by multiplying the rateable value of the property by the relevant multiplier.
Some non-domestic properties are not rateable so no rates have to be paid for them, for example farm buildings, churches and public parks.
Some properties are 'composite properties', i.e. partly domestic and partly non-domestic, for example a shop with living accommodation above. In these cases, business rates are payable for the non-domestic part and council tax is payable for the domestic accommodation.
Business Rates has recently undergone a revaluation which commenced with effect from 1 April 2017.
The full rating list and further information is now available on the VOA website.
The national non domestic multipliers since 01/04/90 are as follows:
The small business non-domestic multiplier
The non-domestic multiplier
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