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Proving letting information for self-catering holiday lets – New criteria from April 2023

Staying in a self-catering holiday lets is a popular option for many holiday makers in Torridge and across the UK. Holiday lets are often run on a commercial basis, providing a source of income for their owners.  

If an owner wants their property to be liable for business rates, they need to meet the criteria to be eligible to remain in the non-domestic rating list often referred to as business rates. The criteria changed in April 2023. Torridge District Council administer the billing of Council Tax and Non-domestic Rates, the Valuation Office Agency make the decision on the eligibility of a property to be business rated, all enquiries regarding the holiday let criteria should be directed to the Valuation Office Agency.

This article is designed to provide a quick update on the rules and criteria and is based on the article posted by Chris Sykes – Director of Operations, Regional Valuation Units in July of this year.

Why the Valuation Office ask for letting information 

The valuation office is legally required to make sure the non-domestic rating lists and Council Tax lists are accurate.  

The valuation office has been writing to holiday let owners, whose properties are currently in the non-domestic rating lists, asking them to provide letting information about their property. They then use this information to check whether the eligibility criteria have been met. If it has, then the property can remain in the non-domestic rating list and continue to be liable for business rates.  

They are also asking for letting information as part of their regular revaluations.  

They have been letting owners know when they need to provide this information. The only time owners need to contact them proactively, to share letting information, is when a property is currently in the Council Tax list, but the property has met the criteria to move to the non-domestic rating list. There is a specific form for this, which can be found here: form for England.  

Provide the information within 56 days 

If you receive a letter from the VOA asking for letting information about your self-catering holiday let, it’s important that you return it within 56 days of when it was issued. If you don’t then your property will be moved into the Council Tax list, regardless of whether you meet the criteria or not.  

They and the council are legally required to do this. Again, this is part of the statutory requirement to maintain accurate non-domestic rating lists. 

Digital is best 

The Valuation Office send a hard copy of the form when asking for this information. But you can complete a digital version of the form and return it to the VOA via email. The link for the form can be found here: form for England. They have a stated preference for receiving this information via email as it gets to them quicker, and can be processed more efficiently.

All queries about individual cases should be directed to the Valuation Office using this form contact form.

Further general information can be found here: VOA – understanding business rates or on Torridge District Council website here: TDC Business Rates Pages