There has been welcome news that any business in Northern Ireland that has been seriously affected by the recent flooding will receive 100% rates relief. They will receive this rates relief starting from November 1st and it will run on until March 31st of next year.
As well as the above, Secretary of State Chris Heaton-Harris has announced that up to £15 million will be reallocated to areas that have been badly affected by the floods, to help aid businesses and the regions as a whole. Note that this is not new money but is from existing NI funding.
Which Businesses Qualify For Rates Relief
Here are some of the details of the rate relief available to businesses, as copied from an article on the Belfast Telegraph website:
‘The rate relief measures will include 100% relief for non-domestic rates on flooded properties as well as support to help businesses temporarily relocate.
‘For businesses to qualify for the rates relief, the relevant district council must confirm the property was flooded and the property should be valued for non-domestic rates on the rating system on the date of the flooding incident.
‘The business must also have been trading from the flooded property and liable for non-domestic rates on the date of the flooding incident or the property was listed as vacant with LPS and the owner was liable for vacant rates on the date of the flooding incident.
‘Ratepayers do not have to make an application for the relief.’
Ratepayers Who Have Already Paid Their Rates Will Receive A Refund
The article goes on to say that:
A spokesperson for Land & Property Services (LPS) said: “The local council will provide LPS with a list of flooded properties in their area and LPS will automatically apply the relief to the rate account.
“Ratepayers who have already paid their rates for the current year in full will receive a refund.
“Public sector properties are excluded from the emergency rate relief.”
LPS added that 100% rate relief on temporary business premises occupied by flooded businesses will also be available up to March 31, 2024.
This relief is only available when the business relocates to a property that was recorded as vacant on the rating system on the date of the flooding incident. This will be administered by LPS.
The worry is that there could be further heavy storms on the horizon which could bring further misery to businesses and households alike.