When determining liability for business rates the Council must charge the person or company that is in 'Rateable Occupation' at the property.
There are four factors that the Council must consider when determining rateable occupation, these are:
- The individual or company must be in actual possession of the property, they must have the right to use the property.
- The individual or company must have the right to occupy the property exclusively. They must be the only party entitled to occupy the property for a specified purpose.
- The individual or company must gain, or have intended to gain a benefit from the occupation of the property. (A benefit may not necessarily be a profit, but for example in the case of charities a benefit may well be providing a service to the community)
- The property itself must not be of a very short term nature.
Where no-one is in rateable occupation we must charge the owner of the property for ‘Empty Property Rates’.