Following our article of 9th September “Commercial Office Space in Wales under Threat from New Tax Legislation”, further support for the abolishment of the government’s empty rates legislation has come from the world’s largest property services company CB Richard Ellis.
The firm have joined the British Property Federation’s campaign in protest of the legislation which has seen the removal of rate relief on empty industrial and commercial properties, voicing their opinions with a full page article in House Magazine to be released at the Labour Party Conference today.
Introduced in April the legislation has hit property owners hard with the eradication of the 50pc relief from business rates for owners of empty retail and commercial office space and the 100pc relief for warehouse and factory owners. Initially intended to encourage Landlords of empty property to release new space onto the market, and thereby increase property “recycling”, the decision has backfired as Landlords, struggling to meet the new tax laws amidst the downturn, are choosing instead to simply demolish buildings. For now occupiers remain relatively unaffected but it is feared that with once the economy recovers and demand once again increases it will not be met due to a reduced supply of commercial property space and rates will see a consequential rise.
Rebellion against the unpopular legislation continues across the property industry and all eyes turn to Gordon Brown to put a stop to the policy which continues to harm the interests of landlords and occupiers alike as well as having a potentially negative impact on further speculative development of commercial property across the UK.