My old friend and trusted chartered surveyor Ken Batty writes: “I would like you to forewarn your readers to be extremely careful of approaches that are being made by firms saying that they can get them grants even if their rateable value is above the prescribed limits.
“The future of rating is currently an unknown quantity and some of the cowboy firms are actually so ignorant of what they are dealing with that they are even referring to a revaluation in 2021. There is no revaluation in 2021 and there isn’t one 2022 which some are even saying. The next revaluation, if it occurs at all, is 2023 but there is much happening on the rating front and given Covid-19 and its likely presence for the foreseeable future this really is an unknown quantity.”
He says that his Preston-based company has been involved in three cases in various parts of the country where cowboy rating firms are trying to take 50% of the business rates holiday money.
“As you will be aware businesses in the retail and hospitality sector are on a business rates holiday and yet these parasites (strong word but there can be no other word to describe them) are now not only charging 50% of the so-called savings but are actually pursuing the clients through the courts and I am sure you can imagine the extreme stress that these people are under.
“It really goes to illustrate again Jac, something that you have constantly told your readers: do not deal with any of these cold callers, be it by telephone or visits promising the earth when all they are are tricksters and also please, if they are going to sign any contracts, carefully read the contents. If they don’t understand the contents please ask either a rating specialist or a solicitor for an interpretation because the difficulty here is that, in the small print of these people’s contracts it does unfortunately say that they are entitled to a percentage, usually 50%, of any savings achieved by whatever means.”