Rates

May 31st, 2013

Does the fact that no more than a minute fraction of the area encompassed within premises is used (by the presence of blue-tooth apparatus) prevent occupation being rateable occupation?  No, holds Wilkie J in Sunderland City Council v Stirling Investment Properties Ltd [2013] EWHC 1413 (Admin).  Wilkie J further holds, applying Arbuckle Smith v Greenock Corporation [1960] AC 813, that it is not relevant, for the purpose of rateable occupation, that the nature of the use to which the hereditament is put is different than that which was described in the rating list. There is nothing in the legislation which limits the ability of a local authority to levy rates to occupation for a purpose which is identical to the description of the hereditament in the rating list. The issue of any apparent disconnect between the nature of the occupation of an hereditament and its description in the rating list is a matter for the valuation officer to address if he thinks that a new, or additional, hereditament may have been brought into existence.

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