The Rating (Empty properties) Act 2007 is due to take effect in April 2008 unless regulations make it effective during the current financial year.
This Act removes the 50% relief from business rates currently applied to commercial properties that are unoccupied for more than three months. Currently 100% relief applies for the first three months and 50% thereafter.
Industrial and warehouse property currently receives 100% relief for however long they remain empty. The new regulations will restrict this to the first six months and nothing thereafter.
Although the Government have applied these changes to encourage empty commercial and industrial premises to come back into use as quickly as possible, it is entirely possible however, that they might also have been influenced by an estimated £1bn of extra tax each year!
Posted: 10th November 2007