Ryden warns of large hike in rates

Aberdeen is set to be hard-hit. Picture: Getty
Aberdeen is set to be hard-hit. Picture: Getty
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COMPANIES in many prime locations across Scotland face steep hikes in business rates due to the forthcoming rating revaluation, experts have warned.

Commercial properties in Aberdeen look like bearing the brunt of the changes, with new business park dev­elopment Prime Four facing one of the sharpest increases at almost 70 per cent, according to analysis by property agency Ryden.

Among the other locations singled out for steep rises are offices in Edinburgh’s Quartermile development – up 20 per cent – and industrial properties at Wellsheads Cresent in Dyce, with a projected jump of 46 per cent.

The firm said it had analysed how sectors and regions will be affected by the revaluation, which is the process that determines business rates. Bills are calculated using rents at a particular period in time. Current rates are based on rents in 2008 and the five-yearly rating revaluation process, which sets bills, was postponed from 2015 until 2017.

Ryden rating expert Tim Bunker said: “The recession and its effect on rents impacts on each sector and region differently. Many businesses would have seen their rates bill decrease this year if the revaluation had gone ahead in 2015 – but now they might end up with less of a reduction.

“Our research tells us that those facing substantial rises in rates are prime grade A offices across the country, along with most commercial property in the Aberdeen area.

“Of course, it’s bad timing for the city, because future bills will be based on 2015 rents which reflect rental increases over the last two years.”

The firm calculates prime retail properties in Aberdeen and Edinburgh could see rates up 18 per cent.