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

business rates warning over vacant property refurbishments

23 February 2015

Owners of vacant non-domestic premises that are undergoing refurbishment should not automatically assume that their properties will be assessed at a nominal rateable value.

The Court of Appeal has held that a property that had been undergoing internal refurbishment was not exempt from business rates.

In this instance, on the valuation date, various major building elements had been removed including the air conditioning system, electrical wiring, sanitary fittings and most of the ceiling tiles.

By statute, where a non-domestic property is vacant, the rateable value of the property has to be assessed on the assumption that before the tenancy commences the property is in a state of reasonable repair, but excluding any repairs that a reasonable landlord would consider to be uneconomic.

On the facts of the case, the court held that replacement of the stripped out elements (none of which were structural) were repairs, as they required replacement of subsidiary parts of a whole and therefore not exempt from business rates.

related opinions

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

More protection required for retailer workers as violence is on the rise, according to latest statistics

Following an MP debate on 5 November 2019, the government is due to release long-awaited guidance as to how it intends to protect workers in the retail industry against violence, harassment and abuse.

View blog

Retail woes extending beyond the property sector and into financial markets

Some commentators had anticipated that persisting retail sector challenges might disrupt more than the make-up of the high street or commercial property negotiations between landlords and tenants.

View blog

Deadline for registration for all operators and pilots of drones – midnight today!

Mandatory registration under the Drone Safe Drone and Model Aircraft Registration and Education Service starts at 00.00 on 30 November 2019.

View blog

mailing list sign up



Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up