July 15th, 2014 by James Goudie KC

The Liquidator of a tenant company has disclaimed the lease.  The property is unoccupied.  Who then is the “owner” of the property for the purposes of non-domestic rates? Answer: the landlord.  So ruled Hickinbottom J in Schroder v Birmingham City Council [2014] EWHC 2207 (Admin).  The disclaimer determined the lease.  It gave the landlord the right to immediate possession.  It was irrelevant that the Insolvency Act 1986 preserved the contractual liabilities of the guarantor.  Those did not mean that the guarantor had a right to immediate possession.

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