Hoteliers could claim up to £145k in overpaid rates

Hotel operators could claim up to £145,000 per hotel on overpaid business rates as long as they lodge their appeal by the March 31 deadline.

This is according to Colliers International which analysed the number of hotel assessments in each region nationally, along the total rateable value. Based on Colliers’ success rate of a 12.5% reduction, the analysis showed savings between £18,796 and £145,881.

Colliers said that London hotels could be entitled to the largest rebates, due to higher property values and a greater number of large premises in the capital. According to Colliers a rebate of £145,000 to a London hotel equated to around six months’ rent or about 1,000 room nights.

The West Midlands is the second position ahead of the South East, due to the fact that there are a lot of large chain hotels with large premises, which command a higher rateable value.

John Webber, head of rating at Colliers International, said if any new competition opens up in a hotel’s locality, it gives them a legitimate reason to appeal their rating assessment.

He said: “This is known as a material change in circumstance (MCC Appeal), and can result in a significant reduction in the rateable value.  As the shutters are coming down at the end of March 2015, we urge hoteliers to take immediate action and find out whether they are eligible to claim thousands if not hundreds of thousands of pounds due to them.

“This deadline has not been greatly publicised, and even our clients with experience in rating are unaware of this appeals window. Our concern is that the new deadline will cause panic, with the cowboys in the industry persuading clients to appeal en-masse without appropriate due diligence, which could result in an increase in rates liability, ironically, also dating back for five years.”