Liability orders for non-domestic rates

January 29th, 2016

When is an hereditament “wholly or mainly used for charitable purposes”? In South Kesteven DC v Digital Pipeline Ltd [2016] EWHC 101 (Admin) a Divisional Court set out the following propositions: (1) The test is not whether the activity being conducted on the premises is wholly or mainly charitable; it is whether the premises are being used wholly or mainly for charitable activity.  (2) If, as a matter of fact, the premises are being used wholly or mainly for charitable purpose, it matters not that they could have been run more efficiently or that strictly part only of the premises need have been used; the test has to be applied to the facts as they are, not as they might have been. (3) When determining whether the charitable exemption from rates applies, it is immaterial that the purpose of an arrangement between landlord of business premises and charity tenant is to avoid or reduce the payment of rates.

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