Business rates department £2000 rip off?

Business rates department £2000 rip off?

15:25 PM, 12th May 2021, About 5 months ago 3

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We had commercial shop premises available for lease in February 2020. Our agent found a prospective tenant and heads of terms went to solicitors with a completion date of 27th March 2020. The Welsh Assembly (in line with the other 3 home nations) put Wales into full lockdown on the 23rd March 2020 and therefore put a delay on completion of the lease.

After the 19th June 2020 when lockdown restrictions begin to ease our solicitors worked towards completing this lease, and we finally completed on the 9th July 2020.

Our issue is that our local council has sent an invoice for empty property rates for the above dates totalling just under £2000, we have appealed and requested that this does not seem fair, and ultimately the local authority has not upheld our appeal or complaint. Apparently, our only options are:

1. To ask for a judicial review
2. Appeal to the local authority ombudsman

Apparently, the Welsh assembly has made no financial directives towards this issue of commercial properties being forced to remain empty during lockdown restrictions.

Do we just roll over and accept this treatment or anyone with any experience or thoughts on this?

Other viewpoints are welcomed!

Michael



Comments

by Ian Narbeth

16:41 PM, 13th May 2021, About 5 months ago

Michael, can you claim under the small business rates relief scheme https://www.gov.uk/apply-for-business-rate-relief/small-business-rate-relief or are you worse off because there was no tenant?

by michael@mjproperty.co.uk

16:58 PM, 13th May 2021, About 5 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Ian Narbeth at 13/05/2021 - 16:41
Thanks for the response Ian, we had to apply for the hardship relief as empty properties have a 3 month rate free period. Unfortunately we do not qualify for hardship relief as there is no provision for empty commercial properties which remained empty due to the lockdown restrictions.
In all fairness the local authority have made an offer to repay over 12 months today so they can least appreciate the issue even if they cant waive the charges.

by Bill

10:10 AM, 15th May 2021, About 5 months ago

I have the same problem, started refurbishing a tenant wrecked property in Conwy in March 2020.Then Covid struck, we ended up at a standstill and stuck in UK until July. Have not since been able to return to finish the job and we are now having to pay 50% premium on the council tax because it is empty through no fault of our own. Conwy council don't want to know and are quite happy to load us with the additional expense on top of the extra expenses of having an empty property as a result of the restrictions and difficulty of trying to manage a refurb long distance.


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