Gorgeous Gordon ends business rate relief for empty buildings

Gerrard Winstanley news at tlio.org.uk
Tue Mar 4 18:28:03 GMT 2008

blimey - we have a real leftie in number 10 - at last!!
See articles below too.....

Firm warns on new rates law

Mar 4 2008 by Neil Hodgson, Liverpool Echo 

FIRMS with empty buildings in their portfolio are being warned by 
Merseyside law firm Stephensons Solicitors about tax rises in new 
legislation from next month.

The Rating (Empty Properties) Act 2007 comes into force from April 1. 
It means commercial property owners who currently enjoy a 50% 
reduction on business rates for empty properties will now be forced to 
pay the full amount, even though they have no income from the 

Introduced in the 2007 Budget, the Act is aimed at reducing commercial 
rents and bringing redundant buildings back into use.

But Stephensons believes it may not actually have the desired effect 
and the extra costs could cause greater financial pressure on already 
struggling businesses.

Commercial property department managing partner David Baybut said: "In 
a matter of weeks owners of empty commercial properties are going to 
see their rates literally double.

"Yes, this rate change will act as a strong incentive to find tenants 
for empty properties, but many buildings are empty for a reason, and a 
higher rate of tax could potentially financially cripple businesses."

Exemptions include charities and community amateur sports clubs.

Rental market at risk from ending of rates relief

Feb 27 2008 by Our Correspondent, Western Mail 

The Westminster Government has delivered another blow to the property 
industry over empty-premises rate reforms, hitting it with a £1bn tax 
bill six months earlier than expected. Here, Michael Bruce, associate 
director at the Cardiff office of property consultant Atisreal, 
assesses the impact on the industrial property market in South Wales 
of the Rating (Empty Properties) Act 2007 which comes into force on 
April 1

THE crux of a new piece of legislation is to effectively abolish the 
empty buildings rates relief enjoyed by industrial property owners for 
those premises which remain unoccupied.

While under this new legislation industrial landlords will still have 
up to six months to find occupiers for their empty industrial 
buildings before being liable for rates, it was initially thought that 
the empty rates clock would only start ticking from April 1.

However, the Government (echoed by the National Assembly for Wales) 
has now confirmed this is not the case and the worrying news for 
landlords in South Wales is that any industrial buildings that have 
been empty since the October 1, 2007 will now be liable for a rates 
demand (assuming they are still empty) on April 1.....................

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