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Stables - Domestic or Non-Domestic?

If you live in a property that has stables or a sand school on the land, your property may be subject to a non-domestic rating assessment.

The law regarding the rating of stables is a complex matter. Stables, along with exercise areas (maneges) can be valued for either council tax or non-domestic rates.

The Valuation Office Agency decide how to value stables based on three factors:

  • How they are used
  • How close or connected they are to any living accommodation
  • What size they are

In many cases, stable blocks are riding schools or livery stables that are run as a business. These will be assessed for business rates and will be given a rateable value.

The Valuation Officer will consider each case on its own merits. Stables are assessed for non-domestic rates unless they:

  • Are used to stable horses that are worked on agricultural land for an agricultural purpose. Such stables are exempt from non-domestic rates.
  • Horses used for leisure purposes - commercially or otherwise - do not fall into this category even if they are situated on a farm.
  • Are within the area of the domestic property and used for private purposes on a scale appropriate to the domestic property. The area of the domestic property is usually considered to be the same as the garden area. Such stables are included in the council tax band for the property.

If you have a question about how your stables have been assessed, you can contact your local Valuation Office Agency to discuss it on 03000 501 501.

If you have recently been contacted by the Valuation Office Agency and you dispute the entry in the valuation list, you have the right to appeal. You can do this by contacting the VOA on the above number or online via their website.

If you have received backdated rates bills for your stables or sand school, you may be entitled to claim Small Business Rate Relief, which has been 100 per cent since 1 October 2010. Prior to this, the relief was at a maximum of 50 per cent.

For further information please contact the business rates team.