Property changes and business rates

Business rates: changing or diversifying your business

Changing what you do or diversifying your business can affect the rateable value of your property. For example, if you start using part of your premises as a shop - instead of as a warehouse - the rental value might increase. The rateable value changes to take this into account.

Changing how you use your business property

You may need planning permission to change how you use your business property. The uses of many commercial properties are grouped into classes. For example, shops and retail outlets are classified as 'A1'. You do not need planning permission to change from one A1 use to another A1 use. However, you may require planning permission if the change of use would move your premises into another class, for example from professional services (A2), such as a solicitors, to a fast food takeaway (A5). See businesses: change of use.

Inform LPS of property changes

If you make any changes to your business property that might affect its rateable value, you should inform Land & Property Services (LPS). Otherwise, you might later face a backdated increase in your rates bill.

For advice on how your rateable value might be affected before making any changes, you can contact your local LPS Valuation office.

New rateable value

If the rateable value of your property is re-assessed, the LPS Valuation office will send you a valuation certificate of your revised valuation. This shows the new rateable value and the reason for the change. LPS provide a service to find the current rateable value of a property. You should check your valuation certificate and the reason for the change.

If you choose to, you can employ a rating agent, at your own cost, to act on your behalf, and handle any queries about your rateable value.

LPS is revaluing all business properties in Northern Ireland and the new values will be used to calculate rate bills for businesses and organisations from April 2020. View the Reval2020 draft schedule of values.