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Advances in technology, resulting from digitalisation of communications, have now made it possible for businesses to utilise small spaces in property for commercial purposes. The High Court has recently held that a tenant, which had taken a lease for 43 days for a nominal rent to use the premises for Bluetooth marketing and advertising services, had occupied the premises for business rates purposes. This was in spite of the tenant’s Bluetooth apparatus occupying a relatively small space, and the local rating list describing the premises as “warehouse and premises”.
Following the tenant’s vacation of the premises, the landlord was able to claim relief from its liability to pay empty rates for six months. This checklist sets out the exemptions from business rates for non-domestic properties.