Part occupied relief (Section 44a)
Section 44a of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 enables us to grant relief on business premises that are partly occupied, as long as this situation is for 'a short time only'.
The situation must be happening at the present time, so retrospective claims cannot be considered.
This is a discretionary power, and we must be satisfied that the property is part occupied before requesting a certificate of apportionment from the Valuation Office Agency, which determines the rateable value for both the occupied and unoccupied parts of the property.
In order to apply for S44a relief, the ratepayer must put a request in writing to us including a plan of the property clearly marking the areas that are occupied and unoccupied. A plan will also be required to show how it is intended to bring the unoccupied part back into use and within what timescales.
A visit will then be arranged to view the premises and confirm the details of the plan. If the relief is agreed upon, then a request will be sent to the Valuation Office Agency for a certificate. Once this is received and processed, an amended bill will be sent to the ratepayer reflecting the relief granted.
The relief will end at the expiry the 'short period', depending upon the circumstances of the case, or at the end of the financial year if that is sooner.
Requests must be made in writing to the
Business Rates Team
West Northamptonshire Council