Director, Nick Wright MRICS commented,
‘A significant number of landlords will be faced with substantial rates bills. Our research indicates this change will potentially affect 990,000 properties. It will hit the poorest areas hardest where vacancy rates are high and there is low demand from local businesses for commercial premises. If we also see interest rates increasing in 2011 then the heavily debt financed private landlord market could suffer very badly. This would be bad news for the economy as well as many individuals’ pensions which are built around these types of property investments.”
The way local authorities charge business rates for empty properties will change from 1st April 2011. In 2010/11 empty properties with a rateable value of £18,000 or less were exempt from paying rates. This threshold will be reduced to £2,600 from April 2011.
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