Commercial property throughout the U.K is subject to Business Rates which is a tax on occupation and paid by the occupier. However, when a commercial property becomes vacant this tax still exists in the form of Empty Property Rates. The liability for this would then be enforced on the owner of the premises.
An initial period of 3 months relief is applied on empty properties once they first become vacant which is granted by Local Authorities. This is extended to 6 months if the property is industrial in nature.
Governing rules, legislation and regulation around the minefield of empty rates is complex and can prove to be a complicated issue for Landlord’s, Developers and Property Companies who wish to minimise the liability that empty rates pose.
It is therefore imperative that professional advice is sought and that a strategy is implemented which reflects the needs and requirements of the client.
At Roger Hannah we have considerable experience in assisting clients with mitigating their Empty Rates Liabilities and we detail below three potential steps which could be considered: