Chancellor George Osborne today said in the Government’s Autumn Statement that a proposal to create a long-grace period for the payment of empty property rates for newly completed buildings will be introduced next year.
The Government has ruled that all ‘newly built commercial property completed between 1st October 2013, and 30th September 2016 will be exempt from empty property rates for the first 18 months, up to the state aids limit and subject to consultation’.
Howard Elliott, Head of Rating at BDT broadly welcomes the initiative, but would prefer to see an extended grace period of at least 2 years, and preferably 3. He added ‘it is unfortunate that a scheme is only to commence next Autumn, there is no reason why it should not begin sooner. The scheme should also be extended to major refurbishment projects, and not limited to new buildings. It is of course of no help to those suffering crippling rates in the existing empty stock, where many landlords have little or no realistic prospect of finding occupiers for their properties. This does need to be thought through more comprehensively.”
For further information please contact Howard Elliott.
5th December 2012