The land-owner appealed by case stated against an assessment to unoccupied, non-domestic rate demands. The land-owner said that they were unoccupied through dilapidations and therefore exempt. They said that the court had wrongly disregarded their evidence that it would be an offence for the properties to be occupied in their condition.
Held: The appeal failed. It was not enough for the owner to establish that if he occupies the property or allows it to be occupied for a particular purpose he will render himself liable to prosecution under the health and safety legislation. At no time has the law prevented him from entering the premises in order to restore them. He must show that the law prohibits occupation, either because, as in Tower Hamlets, the law says he must not occupy in the circumstances as they currently prevail, or, as in Regent Lion Properties Ltd, that the necessary effect of a prohibition or enforcement notice is to prohibit him from occupation.
Pitchford LJ, Nicola Davies J
 EWHC 2247 (Admin)
Non-Domestic Rating (Collection and Enforcement) Local Lists Regulations 1989, Local Government Finance Act 1988 45
England and Wales
Cited – Arbuckle Smith and Co Limited v Greenock Corporation HL 1960
The appellants had purchased a building which they wished to use as a bonded warehouse. In order to obtain the necessary licence they were required to carry out works of upgrading and repair. The rating authority made a demand for ‘occupied’ rates . .
Cited – Easiwork Homes Ltd v Redbridge London Borough Council QBD 1970
The Court considered liability for a domestic rate during a period when a block of flats was being upgraded. Under paragraph 1 of schedule 1 to the General Rate Act 1967, where a relevant hereditament was unoccupied for a continuous period exceeding . .
Cited – Tower Hamlets London Borough Council v St Katherine by the Tower Limited QBD 1982
By section 34(4) of the 1939 Act, no building which required a means of escape from fire under section 34(1) ‘shall be occupied or let for occupation’ until the local authority had issued a certificate that the building had been provided with a . .
Cited – Regent Lion Properties Limited v Westminster City Council CA 1990
An existing outline planning permission to develop land to include a parade of 12 shops in central London. In 1968 Pan American Airways Corporation took a sub-lease of the land and got planning permission to develop it as an air terminal for a . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.533871