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Taxing the asset: Business Rates in a changing retail world

2018 seems set to be the year of the Company Voluntary Administration (CVA) and the number of retailers seeking to rationalise their estate across England, Scotland and Wales is rapidly increasing.

Many retail centres are likely to lose their 'key' or 'anchor tenants' such as Marks & Spencer and House of Fraser in the wake of the BHS closure of 2016. Simon Berkley and Paul Surgeon explore what this means for business rates in those locations and what options remain available to landlords. 

Toys R Us, Maplin and Carpetright are amongst recent causalities who have gone down the CVA route. Rental decline and a drop in footfall on the high street (1.2%) and in shopping centres (0.9%) all contribute to issues facing the retail industry. It is therefore not unusual to hear a downbeat landlord seeking advice when their occupiers or prospective occupiers struggle to pay the business rates. There is also a real risk that the rules governing empty property rates are likely to change in the near future.

The key question - what can we do to help alleviate this significant business rates cost to landlords and their occupiers? 


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