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Scottish property industry calls for empty rates rethink

Despite a relatively stable performance in the last quarter of 2011 the figures reflect another downturn for the commercial property industry and supports the recent report by the Investment Property Databank of a renewed downturn in commercial property values which play an important part in underpinning the wider economy. Many in the industry expect things to worsen as the Scottish Government plans next year to reduce empty property rate relief, dubbed a ‘tax on failure’.  This will add a further disincentive to invest in development and regeneration at the worst possible moment as the market continues to show weak demand.

David Melhuish, director of the Scottish Property Federation, said: “The commercial property industry broadly mirrored the wider economy in the first quarter of 2012 as it entered a double dip recession.

“The Scottish Government really must take notice of these figures and think again about the planned increase in empty property rates. With such weak demand and both the value and volume of sales falling sharply, this really isn’t the time to increase tax on unproductive premises.”

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One thought on “Scottish property industry calls for empty rates rethink

  1. Mark Walker says:

    I totally disagree with this article.

    I see strong demand for letting commercial property, but tenants put off by the asking rents.

    Rates on empty commercial properties should be significantly increased. Empty units blight high streets for tenants who are trying to make a go of tough trading conditions. Once the high street is built back up again, only then can landlords think about building rents back up.

    Landlords should never be capable of sitting on empty shops. Tax the hell out of them.

    Mark D G Walker

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