All non domestic properties have a rateable value and are shown in the Rating List (unless they are exempt eg. agricultural land and buildings; fish farms; churches and other places of religious worship; sewers; public parks).
Your annual Rates bill is calculated by multiplying the Rateable Value by the multiplier (set annually by Central Government).
The legal definition of rateable value is; the amount equal to the rent at which the property might reasonably be expected to let, from year to year, if the tenant undertook to pay all the usual tenant rates and taxes, and bear the cost of repairs, insurance and other expenses (if any) necessary to maintain the property in a state to command that rent.
So, if the rateable value is £3450, this figure is said to be the annual market rent that a ratepayer would be prepared to pay for the property, if rented on the open market on the above terms.
To find out your rateable value you will need to access the Valuation List, there is a link to the Valuation Office website at the bottom of this page.
If you think that your rateable value is incorrect, you can make a proposal to alter it. This is known as making an appeal. Ratepayers wishing to appeal against their rateable value should contact the Valuation Office Agency.
You should note that even if you have appealed against your rateable value you must continue making payments in accordance with your current Rates bill. If your appeal is successful and you have overpaid you will be entitled to a refund of the overpaid amount plus interest. However, if a Liability Order has been granted in respect of the Rates in question you will not be entitled to any interest.
Although you can make an appeal yourself, free of charge, you may wish to employ a Rating Adviser. If so, you are advised to ensure that they have the necessary knowledge and expertise, as well as the appropriate indemnity insurance. Members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Institute of Revenues Rating and Valuation (IRRV) are qualified and regulated by rules of professional conduct designed to protect the public from misconduct. You can find details of these organisations and their members on their websites:
Please be aware that even if your rateable value is reduced, this does not necessarily mean that your Rates bill will be reduced, due to transitional arrangements.