Lawbite: landlord liable for business rates after lease disclaimed

Many local authorities have been in the habit of looking to landlords for payment of business rates after disclaimer of a lease by an insolvent tenant; and many landlords have accepted liability. Until now, though, the courts have not ruled upon whether or not a landlord is liable in these circumstances.

The question is whether the landlord, following disclaimer, is ‘entitled to possession’ of the property; under section 65(1) of the Local Government Finance Act 1988, it is the person ‘entitled to possession’ who is liable for the rates.

In Schroder Exempt Property Unit Trust v Birmingham City Council [2014] EWHC 2207 (Admin), the tenant went into liquidation and ceased to occupy the property, and the liquidator then disclaimed all interest in the lease…

Click on the link below to read the rest of the Eversheds briefing.

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