CITY based commercial property agents Harris Lamb is reminding Worcestershire business owners time is running out for them to address their new rateable values, before they come into force next month.

After the Valuation Office Agency published the draft 2017 rating list - which advises all ratepayers of their new rate bills in advance of April 1 - businesses have just a month left to check their proposed rateable value.

Andrew Hulbert, of Harris Lamb's in St Mary's Street office, said: “The new rateable values were published on September 30, based on the Valuation Officers’ estimate of a property’s rental value as of April 1, 2015.

"These will replace the current rateable values which are based on market conditions on April 1, 2008 – a period of seven years in which the UK property market has seen enormous shifts.

“The aim of the revaluation is to reflect these shifting market conditions, and produce a fairer rebalanced spread of the tax from both a geographical and market sector perspective.

“Industrial properties are also experiencing a shift in values. Initial reviews suggest an east west divide, with rateable values in central and western locations rising, on average by over five per cent - with values to the east and south east of the country falling by a similar average.

“Businesses are also reminded that the introduction of the new rateable values signal the closure of the current 2010 list, and ratepayers’ ability to appeal against their current rateable values will be significantly restricted.

“With a matter of weeks to go before the new rateable values are introduced, businesses really are facing a battle against the clock to review current and future charges,” he added.