A recent landmark decision by the High Court has ruled that the presence of a Wi-Fi transmitter box in a warehouse can be used legitimately to secure an additional empty property rate-free period of 6 months. The judgement in
Sunderland City Council v Stirling Investment Properties LLP
is welcome news for investors, landlords and absentee tenants who are struggling to find new occupiers for their premises.
The installation of a Wi-Fi transmitter box, measuring 10cm x 10cm x 5cm, to send marketing and advertising text to mobile phones, does constitute legitimate occupation of the building, notwithstanding its small size. Its removal, after 43 days, entitled the landlords for a renewed period of empty rates relief of 6 months for the industrial premises (or 3 months for offices or retail premises).
Howard Elliott of bdt’ Rating Department said, “This judgement goes even further than last summer’s Makro ruling, which concerned the cash & carry chains use of just 0.2% of the floor space of a large former retail warehouse in Coventry. An even more limited physical presence in the Stirling case was held to be sufficient to trigger the further rates holiday.”
If you require any further advice in relation to empty property rating liabilities, then please do not hesitate to contact Howard on 01256 840777.
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Contact for further information:
Telephone: 01256 840 777
24th June 2013