Glossary

Business Rates Hereditaments

Clifford McDowell

When the Valuation Office Agency rates commercial premises it needs to know how many single and multiple hereditaments there are.

To ensure a property is correctly rated, it is important to know how many parts of the property need to be separately rated (or how many ‘hereditaments’ there are). If the property has only one occupier and all parts are contiguous (which generally means touching in some way) to one another or if over consecutive storeys the parts are contiguous by means of the floor of one lying directly above the ceiling of the other, this will normally be a single hereditament.

Buildings which have more than one occupier, and where the parts in the same occupation are not contiguous because they are separated by other occupations or shared areas such as stairwells and corridors, are treated as multiple hereditaments. This will also apply to car parking areas if they are separated from the building by shared areas.

Essentially, property which comprises multiple buildings is classed as a single hereditament if the properties are occupied by the same person or organisation and are contiguous to one another (an exception will be where one part is used for an entirely different purpose from which the other is used).

To find out more about commercial rates read ‘How Business Rates are Calculated‘.

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