Business rates on empty property challenged

A new campaign is being launched to tackle the problems caused by the charging of business rates on empty property.

The CLA, in conjunction with the British Property Foundation, is gathering evidence to highlight to government the damage caused by the tax, imposed on business properties after a “holiday” for the first three months when they become vacant.

This move comes after previous CLA lobbying which helped result in a threshold being established, which has since been removed. Now the organisation is calling for a complete rural exemption to these rates.

“The problem is aggravated by the fact that many of these properties are in rural areas with poor of non-existent broadband provision, which makes it almost impossible to attract new tenants,” said CLA president Harry Cotterell.

Without change, demolition and other actions to make buildings unusable would be encouraged, he warned.