Plumbing and heating businesses are being urged to check their new draft rateable value of their business premises ahead of the business rate revaluation, which comes in effect on 1 April. Checking the new rateable value will give business rate payers time to plan for any changes, or to appeal against the new rateable value.

Business rates are charged on most non-domestic properties, such as offices, and businesses will probably have to pay business rates if they use a building or part of a building for non-domestic purposes.

Business rates are calculated by multiplying the rateable value – as set by the Valuation Office Agency – by the correct multiplier, which is an amount set by central government. A multiplier is the number of pence per pound of rateable value that a business will have to pay in business rates, before any relief or discounts are deducted.

John Thompson, chief executive of APHC, said: “The last business rates revaluation was in 2010 and was based on 2008 property values. The next business rates revaluation comes into effect on 1 April this year and reassesses all business property in England and Wales based on the rateable values as of 1 April 2015.”

With the main exception of the South East and other small areas, most commercial property prices will have fallen which should result in lower business rates. There will be a transitional period that will cap the amount that business rates will go up or down per year over the next five years, so business rate payers won’t feel the full changes straight away.

Mr Thompson added: “To avoid any doubt, I urge all business rate payers to check the draft rateable value of their business property on the government’s website, as once you have found your rateable value you can then either request changes to the property or valuation details if you think they’re wrong, view the valuation details of other properties and, if eligible, appeal against the rateable value.”

A formal appeal to the 2017 revaluation cannot be launched until 1 April and should follow the proposed ‘check, challenge, appeal' process as detailed on the government’s website. However, between now and April, rate payers can contact the Valuation Office Agency to discuss this informally.

Rate payers can check their business rates valuation at