Empty Business Rates Reduction

Welcome to Global Guardians, where we provide property guardian services and empty business rates reduction solutions. Our approach to securing vacant commercial properties includes using experienced guardians along with charitable occupation to reduce your business rates liability while providing a secure and cost-effective solution for your vacant properties.

In recent years, many vacant commercial properties have been taken over by property guardians, who are individuals that take on the responsibility of occupying and maintaining the property in exchange for reduced licence fee. One of the key benefits of property guardianship has been the ability to reduce business rates, which can be a significant expense for property owners.

However, a recent court case has made it clear that property guardianship cannot be used as a means of reducing business rates. The case in question is Southwark v Ludgate, which was heard in the High Court in November 2020. (ref: https://www.judiciary.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Southwark-v-Ludgate-judgment.pdf)

The case involved a property owner in Southwark who had leased a building to a property guardian company. The company then sublet the building to individual guardians, who occupied the property on a temporary basis.

The property owner argued that because the property was occupied by guardians rather than a commercial tenant, it should be exempt from business rates. However, the court ruled that because the property was being used for commercial purposes (i.e. providing accommodation to the guardians), it was still liable for business rates.

This ruling has significant implications for Global Guardians. It means that property guardianship can no longer be used as a way of reducing business rates for property owners.

However, there are still other benefits to property guardianship that make it a viable option for property owners looking to secure their vacant properties. One of the key benefits is that property guardianship provides a reliable and cost-effective way of securing the property against squatters and other forms of trespass.

By placing property guardians in a vacant building, property owners can ensure that the property is occupied and maintained, which can deter squatters and vandals from entering the property. Property guardians also provide an additional layer of security, as they are trained to respond to any security threats that may arise.

Another benefit of property guardianship is that it can help reduce security costs. Property guardians are responsible for maintaining the property, which includes carrying out routine maintenance tasks and responding to any security incidents that may occur. This means that property owners can save money on security costs, as they do not need to hire a separate security company to manage the property.

The Ludgate House Ltd v London Borough of Southwark ruling affects commercial property owners who want to reduce their business rates liability. However, if a charity occupies a property, it can qualify for a reduction in business rates liability. We work closely with charities to occupy the different parts of your property while our guardians occupy other parts of your property. This ensures that the property is being used for a qualifying purpose, allowing you to benefit from reduced business rates liability.

Our team will work with our charity agent and take care of all administrative tasks for the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) to ensure that you receive the maximum reduction in your business rates liability. Our comprehensive guardianship service will also secure your property against potential threats by using experienced guardians.

At Global Guardians, we take pride in offering tailored solutions that meet the specific needs of our clients. We work closely with you to understand your requirements and provide the best possible solution. Our guardianship service will ensure that your property remains secure and well-maintained, providing you with peace of mind knowing that your asset is protected.

If you are a commercial property owner looking to reduce your business rates liability and secure your vacant commercial properties, contact us today at enquiries@global-guardians.co.uk to learn more about our property guardian services.

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