0370 270 6000

already registered?

Please sign in with your existing account details.

need to register?

Register to access exclusive content, sign up to receive our updates and personalise your experience on brownejacobson.com.

Privacy statement - Terms and conditions

retailers pay charities to avoid rates

29 November 2011

In our post on 8 November we highlighted that some high street stores in depressed areas are being let for £1 allowing landlords to avoid business rates on vacant units. There are now reports that some landlords and listed retail groups are paying charities to occupy their vacant units and exploiting their charitable status giving discounts of up to 100% on liability for rates. Donations are seen as cheaper than paying rates. However, some charities are not even occupying the shops and are just placing posters in the windows. Hilary Benn, shadow communities secretary, has called on local authorities to investigate. His view is that placing posters in an otherwise empty shop should not qualify for rate relief.

Business rates on the high street is an increasingly contentious issue and we’ll have to see how the government reacts once Mary Portas’ report is published.

related opinions

Service charges – the bad news keeps coming for tenants!

A few months ago, we discussed a case where the Court of Appeal ruled that the wording of a lease precluded the tenant from arguing that certain costs should not have been included in the service charge calculation. A recent high-profile case concerns a broadly similar issue, this time in relation to the proportion of the landlord’s costs payable by a tenant.

View blog

A landlord’s service charge certificate was conclusive as to the sums payable by a tenant under a lease

The Court of Appeal has ruled that the wording of a service charge clause precluded a tenant from challenging the sums claimed by a landlord.

View blog

Handing back an empty shell of a building did not fulfil a vacant possession break condition

Break rights have proved a fertile source of litigation over the last few years. Courts have consistently required strict compliance with the terms of those rights.

View blog

Retail ATMs and business rates: clarity at last!

Judgement has been handed down for the seminal case of Cardtronics UK Ltd and others (Respondents) v Sykes and others (Valuation Officers) (Appellants) [2020] UKSC 21.

View blog

mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up