Northern Ireland businesses urged to complete rental survey

Occupiers of up to 50,000 business premises in Northern Ireland are set to receive letters asking for their rental information as part of the Government's drive to evaluate business rates and taxes.

Finance minister Sammy Wilson urged businesses to complete and submit the survey, which will enable the Northern Ireland Executive's Land and Property Services (LPS) to adjust rates accordingly. Over 72,500 properties will be re-valued as part of the exercise.

Glyn Roberts, chief executive of the Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association said: "The local business community must submit the required information to allow LPS to carry out a fair and credible revaluation. This exercise is well overdue, but it cannot succeed without business ratepayers doing their bit."

Businesses rates are typically levied proportionately to the individual rental value of a property.

The last revaluation happened in 2003 and Ben Collins, director of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, said it was likely that today's rating system was 'imbalanced.'

"This needs to be redressed, and providing the right information is important," he said.

Businesses can complete the survey online or by post, with access to the online form available via the dedicated revaluation website.

A new Valuation List will be implemented by the Northern Ireland Executive by April 2015 as the basis for all business rate bills.