Welsh deadline for empty property rate exemption looming

Developers and property owners should be aware that the Welsh Government's New Development Scheme closes on 30th September

20 July 2016

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The Welsh Government’s New Development Scheme is a temporary measure which exempts all newly built commercial property which is completed by 30 September 2016 from liability to empty property rate for the first 18 months. It was introduced to stimulate construction and encourage development in Wales. Properties that have been the subject of substantial structural alterations – such as those built on existing foundations or around a retained façade, may also benefit from the relief.

Andrew West, Director of Rating at Cooke & Arkwright comments, “Any developer or property owner who has a property that is nearing completion or undertaking substantial improvements will need to get an entry into the Rating List effective from 30th September, after which the scheme will be closed. There are two ways they can do this, either by asking the Valuation Office Agency to make an entry, or by asking the Local Authority to issue a Completion Notice. We can advise developers and property owners whether their property is likely to qualify for exemption and we would urge them to be proactive in raising an entry in the next few weeks.

“Business Rates are now devolved to the Welsh Government and financial restraints will be a consideration. There would appear to be nothing new on the horizon and although one can never be absolutely sure, at this point I don’t see much likelihood that there will be a renewal of the scheme.”

For full details of the scheme and to find out if your property qualifies for exemption from Empty Property Rate, please contact Andrew West, Jane Shankland or Huw Jones.

Andrew West is a member of the RICS National Rating & Local Taxation Policy Panel and the Welsh Ratepayers Forum.