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Empty Rates on Commercial property

12th May 2010
In the Chancellor’s 2008 Pre-Budget Report it stated that in the financial year of 2009/10 empty properties with a rateable value of less than £15,000 will not have to pay business rates. This was put into action at the beginning of the financial year in April 2008, hoping to decrease the number of vacant properties and boost the business economy and beat the recession. This has now been reported that the policy will not only account for the 2009/10 financial year, but also for 2010/11 as well.

What effect is the empty rate having?

2009 also saw approximately 12,000 independent stores and 7,000 chains such as Woolworths close due to the recession, so what are the effects of extra taxes on commercial properties?

Properties with a rateable value of over £15,000 that are vacant, is costing proprietors a substantial amount due to paying the government’s empty property rate. It has also been reported that the Local Data Company found that the average retail vacancy rate has risen from 4% to almost 12% in 2009.

For small landlords or leaseholders this change to the original empty property rate can be devastating. Reducing the rent to draw in potential tenants to properties may show a decline in profits, but without a tenant the loss could be greater.


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