Posted: Wednesday, 2 February 2011 @ 12:24
The Government has announced that from 1 April 2011 the empty property business rates threshold will revert to £2,600 from the current level of £18,000.
This will be a matter of great concern for SME’s and commercial property owners who have any empty premises in their portfolio.
The only crumb of comfort is the extension of Small Business Rate Relief until October 2012 for those that are eligible. See here for details.
This will result in businesses with empty properties facing the prospect of having to pay thousands of pounds extra in business rates from April this year.
The Federation of Small Businesses has warned this will place a very significant burden on companies struggling in the current economic climate.
Conversely, this may mean landlords offer empty units on better terms in order to attract tenants (see how to save money on business premises)
Cousins Business Law is able to advise business owners and landlords, who have vacant property and cannot rent or sell it, on ways to avoid paying more in business rates.
One option is to let out the property on a casual basis for at least six weeks. If a property is occupied for a period of six weeks or more, then it can be empty again for the six month or three month period (depending on the type of property) before the owner or occupier is once again liable for the business rates. If this process is repeated the liability could potentially be deferred indefinitely. Also consider the "Meanwhile Scheme"
See also our tips on how to negotiate a lease of business premises here
Commercial Property Solicitor
01926 629 005
For free advice on this topic please call us on 0845 003 5639.
This blog is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor is it intended to be a complete and authoritative statement of the law, and what we say might be out of date by the time you read it. You should always seek legal advice to confirm whether or how any information in this article applies to your particular situation. We offer a free telephone consultation
to discuss your particular circumstances.