The empty rates problem
Have you received a non-domestic rates account for empty rates on a property that you are not occupying?
Sanderson Weatherall rating surveyors at are currently advising a wide range of business clients on fully legal strategies to help mitigate, or in some cases even avoid the payment of empty rates.
The last government enacted a major change to the previous system of empty rates relief on 1st April 2008 and no further changes are currently in the pipeline. Now, empty rates are payable at a full 100% of occupied rates after the expiry of an initial void period, which may be either 3 months or 6 months, depending upon the type of commercial property. There are further, albeit very limited, exemptions available for listed buildings, storage land and small properties. Charitable organisations may also receive some relief, although extreme care should be taken, as complex limitations apply.
Proper professionally qualified advice from a suitably qualified rating surveyor should be taken in all circumstances, as if a problem does arise, the outcome will probably be a rapid return to the full 100% charge with limited rights of redress.
Sanderson Weatherall has developed a range of legal property strategies to avoid the payment of empty rates and as a result we have saved many clients a small fortune. Strategies may range from cross - portfolio advice where contents can be moved to the most suitable properties, to the creation of perfectly legal avoidance schemes that are acceptable to local billing authorities as they fall within the established laws of rateable occupation.
We can also help our clients who may have a short term need for temporary storage, by linking them up with our other clients elsewhere who need to demonstrate rateable occupation.
Contact us now for bespoke professional advice on empty rates.