Rate Mitigation

How to qualify for empty rates relief with Oaksure

When a commercial building first becomes vacant there is a period of exemption from paying business rates. This is usually 3 months but some use classes have different periods of exemption. Thereafter it must once again pay full business rates, even if the building remains empty. After the initial three months of rate relief Oaksure can minimise the tax burden for commercial buildings and prevent owners from having to pay full business rates. The majority of buildings in A, B and D use classes can be made eligible for these very substantial reductions in tax. If the correct measures are put in place as soon as a building becomes empty then these savings can be achieved.

A vacant property must be watertight, have running water and electricity in order to be eligible for the most substantial reduction in rates while they are vacant. An assessment must then be made of each site in order to determine whether the building can be arranged to meet the conditions of the regulation. No major works are required and neither are applications for planning permission. Buildings with use classes B4, B5, B6 and B7 are not eligible.

Oaksure can save owners around 90% on business rates for the duration a building is vacant. Our vacant building security is designed to make the properties we manage eligible for a lower rate of taxation

Oaksure works with the building owners to ensure the tax expenditure is kept at a minimum for the duration a building is vacant. We understand that it is double the burden to lose the revenue from a tenant and then also have to cover the full business rates for the property before it is re-let, sold or redeveloped. Our methods achieve the largest possible reductions without gutting a property and come without the work and risk involved in gutting.

Our system for empty rates relief is endorsed by the regulator and councils throughout the country as a legitimate way of mitigating empty business rates. Thus it does not carry the same risk as other methods of rate mitigation.

We have a working relationship with the Valuation Office and undertake the entire application process for our clients: from making the property eligible for a change in rating status, to writing the application, liaising with the regulator, attending the inspection and consulting post inspection

The application process typically takes 8 weeks and all reductions are backdated to the date we began on-site.

We do not tie owners into lengthy agreements. There is no fixed term commitment and we will leave your building, ready for its next use, with only 20 working days notice.

Other forms of empty rates relief

Without Oaksure, getting substantial long-term rate relief may require proving a building is entirely uninhabitable, usually achieved by gutting it. This of course devalues the property and makes it unfit for use by future buyers or tenants. Gutting also requires construction work to be undertaken on two separate occasions which is more time consuming and costly.

Oaksure provides a cheaper, simpler and safer solution. We enable a long-term rate reduction comparable to that obtained by gutting, provide comprehensive security for these vacant buildings and leave them intact.

Our clients save money on two fronts: reduced business rates and avoiding the cost of gutting a building. The property is also maintained in a state ready for future tenants. This provides a safeguard for the future value of property in the circumstance that planning permission is denied or market conditions change.

We have helped clients make substantial reductions in the cost of void property. Below are some examples of savings on empty business rates:

  • Primrose Hill Mixed Use Estate Rates Reduced from £136,000 to £7,200 pa.
    Saving: £139,000 over 13 months
  • Brighton Mixed Use Commercial block Rates Reduced from £39,000 to £1,850 pa.
    Saving: £15,479 over 5 months
  • Westminster Office Block Rates reduced from £77,000 to £5,300 pa.
    Saving: £95,600 over 16 months
  • Hackney Office Block Rates Reduced from £38,000 to £3,600 pa.
    Saving: £25,800 over 9 months

Learn more about Rate Mitigation

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