Advising Petchey’s Asset Management team, Maughan Mitchell were success in removing, the recently acquired, Britannia House from the Rating List and securing Rates Relief from the Local Authority.

The significant landmark office building extending to 29,489 Sq Ft forms part of the larger Britannia Industrial Estate, extending to 323,401 Sq Ft.

At the point of instructing us to act, Britannia House was empty, with the Business Centre, as was, having closed a few months after Petchey’s acquisition. Following this planning permission had been secured, for the conversation to Residential Apartments, including an extension to the building and early initial strip out and surveys, including for asbestos, had been undertaken.

On considering the position, we found the rates charges at Britannia House to be fairly complicated, with a large number of Rating Assessments. Most of these were subject to an Empty Rates charge, with some being below the charging threshold and occupied rates incorrectly applying to some Assessments.

Maughan Mitchell undertook a thorough review with Petchey and following instructions and provision of advice, we took the dual action of –

Contacting the Local Authority, requesting Rates Relief, due to the presence of disturbed asbestos, as a result on an invasive asbestos survey.

Starting Appeal action, by lodging ‘Checks’ with the Valuation Office, seeking the deletion of all existing Rating Assessments, from the date of the invasive asbestos survey, prior to asbestos removal and initial strip out works.

In discussions with the authorities we used our expert knowledge, especially around Rating Legislation and Case Law and of particular use was a statement secured from the IRRV, who responded to questions regarding legislation around ‘Occupation Prohibited by Law’ and asbestos. As a result of in-depth discussions we were able to successfully persuade the Local Authority and Valuation Office that rates should not be charged and the existing Rating Assessments should be deleted from the Rating List, wiping the majority of Petchey’s Rates Liability from the date of acquisition onwards.

Total Savings, as a result of our activity for Petchey’s Asset Management team, amounted to in excess of £100,000, being all the Business Rates due from the date of initial asbestos surveys, following acquisition of the building, up until the future completion of the Residential Apartments being created.

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