Landlords with empty properties in for a shock

Posted on 26 January, 2011 by MOVEHUT

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is worried that small companies that have vacant properties may have to pay thousands additional in business rates with modifications to the exclusion from paying vacant property prices that may come into force from April this year.

The exemption was introduces in year 2009, implying that businesses with an unfilled property in England with a chargeable value under £18,000 will not have to pay the business rates. The Government is planning to cut this threshold from £18,000 down to £2,600, introducing a very noteworthy burden on various small companies that are struggling hard in the present economic condition.

Just as shocking is the piece of information that the Government wouldn’t re-introduce a 50% relief and that small companies will not be able to make a claim for Small Business Rate Relief on their property.

This suggests that struggling small business owners who have left a property and couldn’t sell or rent it will now have to pay more prices than if they were running a business from that property.

The Federation of Small Businesses has written to the Bob Neill MP, local government minister, to state its concerns that this initiative could put some small companies out of business. If the threshold is reduced then the Federation of Small Businesses calls for a return of the pre-April year 2008 circumstances of giving 50 % relief or at least, permit a business to claim for a Small Business Rate Relief on their empty property.

Local Government Policy Chairman, Roger Culcheth, , Federation of Small Businesses, said:

“The Government has said that small businesses have a vital role in driving economic growth and getting the recovery on a firm footing, yet for some businesses this additional tax could tip the balance and force them into insolvency.

“The result of this cut in the threshold without restoring the 50 per cent relief will make small business owners worse off than they were prior the 2009 change and significantly more so then they were in 2009 and 2010. We urge the Government to look closely at this matter and, at the very least, allow the business to claim Small Business Rate Relief.”

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