Business rates - FOI requests
We receive a number of Freedom of Information requests for business rates which are similar in nature. The following reports provide this information for public access, and to avoid the need to make a specific request:
- All current non-domestic properties within the Southampton Council area
- Current empty properties
- Current credit balances
- New properties liable for business rates
These reports are published on a monthly basis. We will not provide individual responses to requests for information held in the above reports but will re-direct requests to this webpage.
- The Business Rates records show who is liable to pay the charge, not who owns the property; the ratepayer may either be a leaseholder, occupier, or owner
- The correspondence address is the last contact address on the Business Rates record
- Account references aren't included for security reasons
- The information is a snapshot taken on the day we create the report
- The information covers the current financial year (April 1st - March 31st), unless we note otherwise under the report heading.
Limitations on data
- The ratepayer's names and correspondence addresses are not provided where the ratepayer is an individual (sole traders, partnerships etc.), as it is considered to be personal information.
Personal information is exempt from disclosure under section 40(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, unless one of the conditions set out in Schedule 2 of the Data Protection Act 1998 is met. We are satisfied that none of the conditions in Schedule 2 are met in this case, and we are unable to release this information.
- Details of the credit balance write-ons are not included in the current credit balances report, as this would exceed the appropriate cost limit under section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
This states that the council is not obliged to comply with a request for information if we estimate that the cost of complying would exceed the appropriate limit.
This is currently £450 for a local authority, and represents the estimated cost of one person spending 18 hours in determining whether we hold the information.
Providing the detail of write-ons is a manual exercise, that requires us to interrogate all Write On/Write Back transactions in order to check that they have not been subsequently reversed. We estimate it takes approximately 5 minutes to investigate each account.As each report around 500 records, to provide details of the write-ons would exceed 18 hours (500 cases @ 5 mins per case = 41.6 hours).
If the information you require is not covered by any of the reports, please contact us to make a formal request for information.