Business Rates Section 44a query

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    I hope that someone can give me some advice with a problem i have with a rating assessment.

    We have a customer who owns a store which is one assessment of £1700 RV and a workshop and surrounding land which is another assessment of £11000. The store had been let out but we had the workshop and the surrounding land as empty. In 2005 we found out that the owner had been using the workshop and part of the surrounding land. But a large part of the land is just rough ground and has never been used. We have charged the owner occupied rates for the whole time since 2001 but he told us that he shouldnt have to pay for the whole site only the workshop and part of the land. The V.O will not go back into the previous list to split the assessment and we are reluctant to allow a sect 44a for a period covering 4 or 5 years in order that he only gets charged a correct amount.

    Should we tell him to pay up on the whole site or ask for a sect 44a to split it. He did apparently tell the V.O when they came round in 2001 that he was only using part of the site but they never passed this on to us. Can anyone give me some advice?


    As S44a is only supposed to be awarded where part of a hereditament is empty for a short time I don’t think you can award it as this has obviously been going on for years.

    Tell him to pay up or apply for hardship relief.


    If the VO has made a decision to that effect the man could appeal to the local Valuation Tribunal 8)

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