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Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 26070
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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We have been notified by the locakl council that they had received

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We have been notified by the locakl council that they had received a complaint that we were running a business from home and as we are having deliveries and temporarily storing some products (Glass & Windows) we should be paying business rates. We have a small bedroom used as an office and it is true deliveries are made to our house before going on to the clients premises, our address is also shown on our website as the "business" address. No manufacturing of any kind is carried out on the premises so must we register our home as a business and pay business rates?
Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

May I ask how many bedrooms and how many reception rooms your property has altogether please?
From what you say you are only using one bedroom (a small bedroom?) as a home office and storage for your business?
Are any other rooms used for business storage?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Joshua, we have five (5) bedrooms in total, one of which is used as the office, one (1) reception room (Thru Lounge). As for storage we have a storage yard in another location but deliveries are made to our house and unloaded onto the front of our house, i.e. NOT into a room or garage, and then later taken to the storage yard, so these items are only stored there for a short while.

thank you very much for the above. If you only use a very small part of your property the business use, this is normally treated as ancillary use, that is that the primary use for your property is residential with only a very small percentage of it being used for an ancillary purpose, namely here, a business. Where this is the case, business rates would not be payable however if a more significant part of your property was being used for business, it may be that the business use would not be considered ancillary but would be considered a not insignificant part of your use of the property and as such, business rates could be assessed in addition to Council tax.From what you say, in respect of your use of one bedroom as an office, I cannot realistically see how this could result in the determination that you are using your property for any other purpose but residential with a small ancillary use the business which should not result in any business rate impact. I am slightly more concerned with the deliveries that are made to your property if they are stored outside your property for a period. My suspicion is that this is what will have resulted in a complaint as third parties would not be able to see what goes on inside your property, but the reason of my concern is that storing commercial goods outside your propertyprovides a strong impression from the kerb that the property is being used in no insignificant way for business. This may be subjective but a determination of whether business uses ancillary or a significant part of the property is a matter of assessing fact and degree and such an above impression would be unhelpful for that purpose. In particular, if the deliveries are regular and continuous, this will do nothing to assist an argument of ancillary use.if possible, it would be ideal to cut out or at the very least reduce the number of deliveries you accept at your property and store there. I do not suggest that you would fail an assessment if you fail to do so but storing any significant number of commercial goods outside your property is likely increase the risk of a business rate assessment going against you particularly if the deliveries of regular and the storage is obvious from the road. if this is not possible, if you are able to minimise the visual impact of the storage from the road and minimise the amount of space taken up at your property generally by the storage, this is likely to improve matters.In terms of the notification you have received, you may the first instance consider reverting to the council advising that you live in your property as your primary residence and only a very small part of your property is used for ancillary business use with your main business activities taking place elsewhere and asking the council to reconsider their position. If the council continue to press a case of business rates, you can appeal to the valuation office who will allocate an assessor to assess your property. The assessment will be conducted as above on the basis of fact and degree to which you use your property the business use as against residential use. There is some further information about how the valuation office conduct assessments at the following link which will be well worthwhile you familiarising yourself with so you can tweak any arrangements at your property to best ensure a successful outcome to any assessment: I hope the above is of assistance? If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to click to rate my service to you today or just reply back to let me know if the above is helpful. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me I'd be very grateful
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