New empty commercial property rate relief scheme
1 November 2013 by Marketing Team
The Department for Communities and Local Government has introduced a new empty property rate relief scheme for newly built commercial property.
The scheme will apply to all commercial properties completed between 1 October 2013 and 30 September 2016 which are unoccupied for the first 18 months following the completion of their construction and will give Local Authorities the discretion to grant relief to property owners who would otherwise be liable to pay empty property rates.
This means that newly-constructed, empty, non-domestic properties that would previously have qualified for a three or six (retail property or industrial/warehouse property respectively) month rate-free period may be able to benefit from a further 15 or 12 months of rate relief.
The scheme is worth an estimated £150 million and is intended to apply to over 11,000 new commercial properties over the next three years with the overarching objective of stimulating growth in the construction industry.
Some commentators have expressed dissatisfaction that the scheme is only applicable to newly built commercial property as opposed to, for example, extensive regeneration of older buildings. The Government has confirmed that there are no proposed amendments to empty rates relief for older properties.
The Commercial Real Estate team at Fisher Jones Greenwood LLP has extensive experience in the acquisition, disposal and development of commercial property. Please contact Ellen Petersen on EPetersen@qsfjg.co.uk to find out more about our Commercial Real Estate expertise across Essex and in Central London.
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