Brown Ends Tax relief On Industrial Empties

Quite how htis will pan out for squatters living industrial empties on Licence I’m not sure but a couple of newspapers have reported a change in the law to tax relief on empty industrial places in their property portfolios.

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………..