Our client owned a renowned shooting estate in the Hampshire countryside with around 2,000 acres of land, all set around a listed country house. The estate was let for commercial sporting days which included lunch and overnight stays in the main house.
While carrying out a valuation job, we identified that the estate was currently paying Business Rates and Council Tax on the main house and that this was incorrectly assessed, because there was no one living in the house full time and it was solely used for commercial shooting purposes. We challenged the Council Tax assessment on this basis and successfully got the rating removed, saving around £3,500 per annum.
We then turned to the Business Rates assessment which was based upon a historic rateable value of £30,000. Having reviewed the accounts, we challenged this on the basis that it took into account shooting income generated from the wider land, and not just the accommodation income, and was therefore too high. After launching a Check and engaging in lengthy dialogue with the Valuation Office Agency to answer all their queries, we successfully managed to reduce the rateable value to £9,000. This reduces the client’s Business Rates bill by around £10,000 per annum with back payments to 2017 amounting to around £40,000.
Overall, Carter Jonas has been able to save the client £13,500 each year.