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Empty Property Rates

From late 2009 Empty Property Rates have been levied upon most buildings except smaller ones with a Rateable Value of under £15,000. This limit was only temporary, however, and was reverted to a mere £2,600. The issue remains very contentious with the Government stating that it is intended to bring more buildings into use and the property industry almost as one voice making it clear that it achieves precisely the opposite and places an unfair burden on a landlord.

In the Autumn Statement this year the Government announced further reliefs for allowing Empty Property Rate deferment on newbuild schemes, but not on existing buildings. This helps to some degree, but it does not solve the problem faced by landlords with buildings they are desperate to use or let, but cannot because of the recession. They still have to bear the substantial rating burden.

There are various schemes available to try and reduce Empty Property Rate liability and, in certain circumstances, these work quite well, but they are rather cumbersome and require a certain amount of bureaucracy and administration.

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