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Frequently asked questions

Please see below the answers to a number of often asked questions.

I pay my rates to my Landlord, why have you made me liable?

The Council realise that some people may pay, with their rent, an amount of rates.

However, the Council are not allowed to recover occupied rates from anyone other than the person occupying the property, which is why you as the occupier have been billed.

If you are in this situation, you are advised to raise the issue with your landlord, and either change the terms of your lease or ask him / her to meet the payments.

I moved out why are you are billing me for an empty property?

When a property becomes empty there is a three or six month period where there is no charge. After this period the 'person entitled to possession' (often the leaseholder) becomes liable for the full charge. There are exceptions such as:

  • The property has a rateable value less than £2,900
  • By law you cannot allow the property to be occupied
  • The building is a listed building
  • You are the owner only as the representative of a deceased person
  • You as the owner are subject to insolvency action
  • The property is owned by a charity and when next in use will be occupied by a charity

Why do I still have to pay for other council services?

Business Rates are a tax which is collected by the council but is not payment for individual services provided by the Council. Business rates, together with income from council tax payers, government grants and other income is used to pay for all the services provided by the council. The level of some services varies from business to business, so charging for those separately is fairer. Trade refuse is one example where businesses are billed separately, depending on the use they make of the service.

What does the council do with the money that is collected?

Business rates collected by the council are shared with central government. The council's share, together with income from council tax, government grants and other income, is used to pay for the services provided by the council.

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