Business rates for a commercial property after forfeiture?

Business rates for a commercial property after forfeiture?

11:08 AM, 3rd June 2021, About 6 months ago 2

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I am a landlord and have forfeited a commercial lease, but my tenant has applied for relief from forfeiture. We are still waiting for a court date, however, the council is now pursuing me for business rates.

I have explained that the tenant has applied for relief from forfeiture and sent the council the court documents. We have also signed an undertaking that we could not remove his possessions and chattels. He has therefore stopped us from gaining possession/occupation and renting out the premises.

Who would be liable for the business rates bill?

Thanks

Sara



Comments

by Michael Mathews

13:06 PM, 3rd June 2021, About 6 months ago

If you were to insist your EX tenant should pay, then you would be "waiving" your forfeiture and treating the lease as subsisting - your EX-tenant could argue he does not need Relief from Forfeiture, as you have already "waived" forfeiture.
Your actions in regard to forfeiture must be unambiguous - so even refusing to pay the business rates could be interpreted as a "waiver" to forfeiture - you must always act as if the lease no longer exists - including paying the Business Rates. At the Relief from Forfeiture application, if the court is minded to grant Relief, then you would need to make sure the conditions are that they must meet your legal costs and business rates expenditure FORTHWITH and deal with all and any other breaches that caused you to forfeit the lease in the first place.
Michael

by Darren Peters

7:40 AM, 5th June 2021, About 6 months ago

Why did you sign the undertaking that you cannot remove his stuff - did the Court order that?

Perhaps Michael Mathews above knows this detail but surely the former tenant is either still a tenant or is a squatter? Either way, aren't they still due the rates bill by virtue of being a legal or illegal occupier & preventing access to the landlord?


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