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Non-domestic rates chargeable on private stables

Mark Neason MRICS FAAV of Stags Professional Services in Somerset discusses the matter of tax when it comes to equine facilities. 

A little-known fact among many is that equine facilities on otherwise residential properties can require the payment of non-domestic rates, whether they are being let out or not. 

Stags Professional Services department has experienced a number of enquiries, particularly from owners of private dwellings within the Mid Devon District Council area who have recently received letters from valuers at the Valuation Office Agency. The valuers are employed by local authorities to assess various circumstances of these dwellings in an attempt to gather more local tax.

There are two main exceptions to this rule:
  • If the stables are used for horses that are worked on agricultural land for agricultural purposes
  • If the stables are in close proximity to the dwelling house and therefore part of the domestic curtilage, which is usually considered to be similar to the garden area surrounding the house.
It should also be noted that farmers are not immune from paying business rates for non-agricultural use of premises and should also expect visitations from the valuation officer. 

The valuers normally work off standard annual rateable values for the various equine facilities. For example, a stable is £375, a tack room is £20 per square metre and an outdoor arena is £1.50 per square metre.

The rateable value is the sum of all of the parts; the amount payable normally works out at around 50% of the rateable value. If the rateable value falls below £12,000 per annum, no rates will be payable due to the effects of the Small Business Rates Relief Scheme. However, various rules apply relating to other business premises occupied by a potential claimant of the rates relief. 

Should you have any enquiries or if you require any further information please contact your local professional today.