Non-domestic rates liability confusion re: Leicester council?Make Text Bigger
After my father died and probate was granted in Jan 2018. I received ‘zero rated’ tax bills for my late father’s shop and premises as a result of transitional relief Etc and only a Single token bill of £300 was issued in May 2020 for part the part-year after probate was granted. A total of 5 billing periods were received.
Only one had an amount due which was for £300. The other 4 were cancelled of any charge whatsoever.
As there were severe estate debts to fund but due to Title issues we were unable to sell fathers shop.
Instead, I decided as acting executor that our only option was to start a short tenancy in January this year for 2 years and 8 months to run concurrently with the debt order. Whilst we tried to rebuild the title.
Then Covid-19 caused lockdown and this was just as our tenant had completed enough repairs in order to start trading.
He asked the government for Financial assistance as paying his next rent would be a problem but told he me he didn’t qualify. He then got to open the shop for a handful of weeks before Leicester went back into lockdown. He said he could no longer afford any further payments and has not been able to contribute towards utility bills which my family and I are now having to stand.
I then received a dreadful shock from the council, I believe triggered by his enquiry, that all the backdated Non-domestic rate bills since probate (3years) were fully chargeable and no small business relief applied which had always been the case with father’s shop as RV under £15K. A jump from £300 to over £6000 was now being demanded with no explanation.
I’m also being told that the shop tenant is not liable for any rates whatsoever as he does not use the upper floors. These floors are In extremely poor condition and could only facilitate limited storage if that which he doesn’t need. His low rent already reflected the shop conditions, and he volunteered to complete repairs to help us both succeed. However he’s been unable to complete these too.
I have asked the rates department to assist, but all I keep getting told is to split the property into shop and residential..why? This defeats the object entirely. We want to sell the intact shop, not develop it. I just want a fair discretionary assessment of the extraordinary situation.
Due to the moratorium I cannot evict him but have served a section 21 to quit so we can sell and pay the debts, which a loss to everyone involved.
Could anyone advise or signpost me as to where to challenge which seems such an unfair decision?
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