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Scotland introduces new business rate laws for commercial properties | 5 November 2012

The Scottish parliament has passed new proposals designed to encourage owners of commercial properties to get them back in use quickly, scotland.gov.uk reports.

The so-called ‘Unoccupied Properties Bill’ will offer local authorities the option to cut business rates relief for those properties which have been left empty for more than three months. Any person or business taking on a new commercial property and bringing it back into use within a year, however, could be treated to a 50 per cent rate relief under the new ‘Fresh Start’ scheme. Listed buildings will remain exempt from the charge, however.

This would come into place for all non-domestic properties, including offices, factories, warehouses and shops.

Speaking to out-law.com of the new proposals, local government minister Derek Mackay explained: “Empty commercial properties are a blight on our high streets and these reforms will help bring them back into use and bring new life to our town centres.

“Scotland already has the most competitive rates regime in the UK and this bill will offer a fifty per cent discount to anyone bringing a shop or office that has been empty for 12 months back into use thanks to our new rates relief, Fresh Start.”

The changes will come into force from April 2013.

The views expressed in this post are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Qube Global Software. All facts are verified where possible directly by the author.

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