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Safe as houses?

The Court of Appeal's interpretation as to what type of property is capable of beneficial occupation has risked alienating investors from a large segment of the property market

6 May 2016

The Supreme Court will hear an appeal this summer in the case of Newbigin (Valuation Officer) v SJ & J Monk (a firm) [2015] in which last year, the Court of Appeal decided that premises undergoing a significant refurbishment scheme were in fact capable of beneficial occupation, and therefore subject to business rates liability in the usual way.

This has the potential to deter investors from investing in buildings that are in need of upgrading, which could in turn have a knock-on effect on pricing in that sector of the market.

Prior to the Court of Appeal decision last year, landowners could expect that while their premises were vacant and about to undergo redevelopment, they would be subject to a business rates holiday. This was because it could be argued that the premises were not capable of beneficial occupation.

Following this Court of ...

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