BIFA urges empty property rates rethink

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The British International Freight Association has called for the government to scrap the tax on empty property, which it says is to blame for the demolition of buildings that developers can’t sell.

The trade association is also pushing for empty property rates relief to be reinstated.

Peter Quantrill, director general of BIFA, said: “We understand the government’s ambition to increase churn in the property market by persuading property owners or landlords to off-load empty properties to new buyers and tenants. However, this move has backfired, as there are few buyers for these premises in the current economic climate.
“There has to be a re-think on the removal of rate relief on empty industrial property. I hope that the growing rebellion by MPs over the tax will force the government into a u-turn on this ill-thought out rule change.

It is vital that the government uses the pre-budget report to introduce some element of relief and send a clear message that it wants to support, not hinder, recovery.”

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