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You are here:home > Business > Business rates > Who is liable to pay business rates?

Who is liable to pay business rates?

Where a property is occupied, the rates are normally payable by the person, partnership or company in occupation.

On occasions the occupier and the landlord make a private arrangement whereby the landlord is paid the rental, which is inclusive of business rates.

Please be aware that where a private agreement may exist it is not binding on the authority and therefore the occupier would continue to remain liable for payment of business rates.

If you are the occupier and have entered into a private agreement with your landlord, you will remain liable for payment, if the landlord fails to make payment on your behalf. All such bills and recovery letters will be issued in your name and not the landlords.

The law considers that there are four elements of rateable occupation:
• Actual
• Beneficial
• Exclusive
• Non Transient

If an occupier vacates a commercial property part way through the financial year, the business rates will be calculated on the number of days the property was occupied.

Joint Responsibility

All persons who have an equal interest in the premises shall be jointly and severally liable. All jointly responsible persons will receive a copy of the non domestic rates bill. Southampton City Council cannot become involved in any arrangements you may have made with the other jointly responsible persons paying the bill.

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