Businesses across Allerdale are being urged to make sure they use reputable companies if they are considering applying for business rates relief – after some local traders have been targeted by unscrupulous operators.
Allerdale Borough Council has been made aware that a firm in the area was scammed in recent weeks. The local firm has been left out of pocket after a company it was dealing with changed the terms of a contract and asked for more money.
The council, who collect business rates but do not set them, can advise any business wanting to make an application for rates relief but there are other reputable companies who can also do this.
Scams on business rates relief are nothing new and are well-known to local authorities. Every year when Allerdale sends out its rates bills it includes advice on employing rating agents.
Government advice states that members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Institute of Revenues Rating and Valuation (IRRV) are qualified and are regulated by rules of professional conduct designed to protect the public from misconduct.
Cllr Paul Scott, Executive member for transformation, said: “Before you employ a rating adviser, you should check that they have the necessary knowledge and expertise, as well as appropriate indemnity insurance.
“It is never nice to see a business lose out because of unethical practices but the council is here to help if someone needs advice on their rates.”
More information from the council can be found on https://www.allerdale.gov.uk/en/business-rates-nndr/