Councils pile pressure on firms over unpaid business rates during pandemic

19th November 2020

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Local authorities have begun to turn up the heat on businesses that have been unable to pay rates bills during the pandemic, with some pursuing claims through the courts. According to a leading property consultancy, an increasing number of clients are receiving letters demanding payment or court summons.  Office occupiers were not granted a business rates holiday during the Covid-19 crisis, unlike retail and leisure firms, but many have been left empty due to lockdown, restrictions on travel and social distancing rules.

One West London council had launched legal action against a Money Exchange shop, where the business did not get a grant but was not entitled to rates relief. The company is now being chased for payments through the courts during the second nationwide coronavirus lockdown. 

In Hampshire, a local authority issued final notices to businesses in June, at the height of the pandemic. It will now only accept catch-up payments with costs included or a full-year’s liability paid up front.

An unprecedented 183,000 companies have begun a business rates appeal process between April and September, averaging more than 1,000 per day, as the number of firms citing a Material Change of Circumstance soared.

Taken from: https://www.cityam.com/councils-pile-pressure-on-firms-over-unpaid-business-rates-during-pandemic/

 

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