Property news: Business rates

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The Taxpayers’ Alliance has released staggering figures revealing that last year a massive £1.1 billion was paid in business rates on vacant properties between 2011-2012, says Maxey Grounds and Co.

The owner of a vacant commercial property has three options to reduce his or her liability to pay business rates after the empty property rates relief period expires.

Firstly, the property owner can actively seek a new tenant for the premises. In recent months we have started to see some confidence returning to the commercial property market with an increase in both viewings of properties by intending tenants as well as an increase in firm offers to let premises, says Maxey Grounds and Co.

A professional advertising campaign that takes full advantage of publicity in local newspapers and online portals can rapidly find potential tenants for your property.

Secondly, the owner can explore other options for the property by seeking planning permission for a change of use. One property where we are currently negotiating a lease was a former bank, which now has an existing permission for use as a restaurant. This has garnered much more interest from potential tenants.

A final option is to appeal the ratings liability on the property. Maxey Grounds & Co have been highly successful in a number of ratings appeals over the last 12 months.

If you want advice on how to maximise the returns from commercial property in your ownership, help finding a tenant or advice on ratings appeals then the Chartered Surveyors in our Commercial Property department at Maxey Grounds & Co will be pleased to assist you.