Changes to Self Catering

Changes to Self-Catering Business Rates Rules - 1 April 2023

The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) is about to carry out changes to the eligibility rules for self-catering properties, which mean the property can be assessed for business rates.

In March 2022 and May 2022, the UK and Welsh and Governments respectively announced changes to the eligibility rules for whether a property can be assessed as a self-catering property and then valued for Business Rates rather than Council Tax.

Although the new eligibility rules come into force on 1 April 2023, for assessment purposes VOA will look at letting information from the previous operating year. Owners of self-catering properties need to be aware that it is the availability and actual letting of their property during 2022-23 that will determine whether they are eligible for Business Rates rather than Council Tax.

The new eligibility rules 

In England, your property must be (all of the following): 

  • available for letting commercially (with a view to making a profit) for short periods. These short periods must total 140 days or more in the previous, and in the current year.  
  • actually let commercially for 70 days or more in the previous 12 months.

Letting owners know about the changes

The VOA will be contacting customers from 24 October to let them know about the new eligibility rules, with a mailshot to self-catering properties currently on the Rating List.

After 1 April 2023, the VOA will contact owners by writing to their billing address to confirm their eligibility.  The rolling programme means the VOA will ask customers to give information at different times during the 2023/24 operating year. But the VOA will be using a universal date, from which they will assess whether the new eligibility rules have been met, of 01 April 2023.  This means you could have changes during the year to your bill.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.       When will the new eligibility rules come in?

The new eligibility rules will be effective from 1 April 2023.   

2.       Will the new eligibility rules apply retrospectively?

The new eligibility rules will take effect from 1 April 2023. However, the VOA will look at Information about a property's letting during the 2022/23 operating year to assess whether the new eligibility rules have been met. 

If a property does not meet the new eligibility rules for the 2022/23 operating year, the property will be moved out of Business Rates and into the Council Tax Valuation list from 1 April 2023.

3.       Will the new eligibility rules apply to new holiday lets?

They will apply equally to all self-catering properties across England and Wales.

New holiday lets will be liable for Council Tax each day until the property meets the eligibility rules.  

4.       What do I need to do?

Property owners do not need to tell the VOA anything now. A valuation officer will ask for this information in the 'Request for Information' form, which will be sent to property owners at a later date. The VOA will consider whether they meet the new rules on the actual lettings for their property in 2022/23.

Further information 

To find out more, property owners can go to GOV.UK and search 'VOA business rates self-catering properties'.

There are a number of reliefs available to assist businesses, including the Small Business Rates Relief Scheme (SBRR). For further details, property owners should contact their local council.