Commercial Property - Business Rates on Empty Property
In the last budget the Chancellor announced a proposed reform of business rates for empty commercial property.
At present vacant industrial and warehouse property receives 100% relief from business rates. Other commercial property, including offices and shops pay 50% after an initial 3 month period during which no rates are payable.
The Chancellor’s proposal will see rate relief limited to three months for offices and shops and six months for industrial property. After that time the full rate will be payable on all classes of commercial property.
It is proposed to bring these charges into effect from 1st April 2008. The apparent rationale behind the charges is to encourage vacant property to be brought into use but the result will be to penalise owners of commercial property and in some cases tenants who may have vacated a property but been unable to dispose of it.
Various professional bodies are making representations to the government to seek to change these proposals which, rather than encouraging the use of vacant property will only have the effect of placing an additional burden on British businesses.
If you would like to discuss how this proposed legislation could affect you please contact Peter Wilson at the Milton Keynes office or Jean Howe at the Luton office.