Commercial property owners must be accurate when filing rates forms
Commercial property occupiers need to make sure they provide accurate information to Land and Property Services (LPS) to ensure an accurate rateable value is assessed, advises commercial real estate firm CBRE.
Its advice comes as LPS issued Rent and Leasing Questionnaires (RALQ) this week to all owners and occupiers of commercial property in Northern Ireland requesting full details of the tenure of their property.
Tracy Flannigan, director of advisory and transaction services at CBRE, said: "If you occupy or own commercial property including offices, shops, warehouses, public houses and petrol filling stations etc, you will receive a 'PIN Letter' which will contain a link to the web and both a PIN number and Property ID for each individual property. RALQs cannot be completed without the 'PIN Letter'.
"It is very important that full and accurate rental evidence is supplied including details of incentives such as capital contributions, rent-free periods, service charge caps etc," she said.
The information will be used by LPS as it revalues all 75,000 non-domestic properties in Northern Ireland for the purposes of the 2020 Revaluation.
The rateable value of a property is effectively a rental valuation at a fixed date and for Reval 2020, the valuations date is April 1, 2018. The new Valuation List will be published on April 1, 2020 but it is anticipated that a draft list will be made publicly available to enable ratepayers to review their new rateable values in late 2019.
Ms Flannigan added: "Regular revaluations are necessary to ensure that changes in rental values are accounted for in the spread of rates and it is important that businesses provide the information required.
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"Doing so helps ensure there is greater certainty, consistency and stability reflecting local economic conditions and ultimately making the rating system fairer."
Meanwhile, in the commercial sector a block of prime town centre property space in Magherafelt has gone on the market.
The lot, which occupies both Queen Street and Rainey Street in the Mid Ulster town, is made up of commercial and retail units, apartments and a car park.
The Queen Street element includes a two-storey commercial unit and office space with the current rent set at £4,200 per year.
The property, making up 2-8 Rainey Street, consists of two ground floor retail units, with first and second floor offices and eight apartments. It also has a car park. The 10-14 Rainey Street site offers a two and three-storey commercial unit and rear car park.
The three sites, most of which come with passing rents and leases, are being sold as one unit or three separate sites.
In Newry two separate parcels of land within the Ardfreelin development are for sale. There is a planning application pending on the adjoining lands for renewal of approval of the erection of a private housing development.