Staying COVID-19 Secure and In Control

GILES WILSON IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS and continues to operate in complete compliance with the government’s latest guidance. While our preferred method of conducting appointments is via phone or video call, we are able to make allowances for in-person consultations, in-keeping with social distancing rules. Read more on our dedicated COVID-19 page.

For more information get in touch at info@gileswilson.co.uk or telephone ouroffice on 01702 477106.

We’re proud to continue to serve the community of Leigh-on-Sea as we have done since 1953.

Thank you for your support.

Business Rates – A Landlord’s Liability?

Business Rates – A Landlord’s Liability?

Under section 65(1) of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 the “person entitled to possession of the property” is liable to pay business rates, but who is entitled to possession when a tenant company goes into liquidation and leaves the property, but leaves behind a guarantor entitled to possess the property?

In a recent High Court case a tenant company went into liquidation, the liquidator subsequently disclaimed the lease and the property was left unoccupied. The local authority demanded that the landlord pay the business rates for the period after the lease was disclaimed, which the landlord refused on the grounds that it did not physically occupy the property, and furthermore that the tenant’s guarantor was now entitled to possession of the property.

The High Court ruled in favour of the local authority, holding that once the liquidator had disclaimed the lease the lease ceased to exist, so the landlord was entitled to immediate possession of the property. The High Court also rejected the landlord’s argument that the guarantor was directly liable for the rates as the guarantor had not exercised its right to possess the property. 

Although this is unwelcome news for landlords faced with bills for unpaid rates, such landlords may be able to recover this liability from any guarantors depending on the terms of any guarantee agreement. The same issue does not arise on an administration as administrators cannot disclaim leases and are also exempt from business rates if they are not in occupation.


Awards & Recognitions

The expertise of our solicitors is regularly recognised by some of the profession’s most distinguished organisations. As well as being a member of a number of Law Society schemes, we have won awards at the Law Society Excellence Awards, the Halsbury Legal Awards and the Modern Law Awards. We have also received recognition in the form of the Lexcel mark of quality, a Legal 500 listing and a place on the shortlist of The Lawyer’s Boutique Firm of the Year.

Awards and Recognitions of Giles Wilson
Awards and Recognitions of Giles Wilson
Awards and Recognitions of Giles Wilson
Awards and Recognitions of Giles Wilson
Awards and Recognitions of Giles Wilson
Awards and Recognitions of Giles Wilson
Awards and Recognitions of Giles Wilson
Awards and Recognitions of Giles Wilson
Awards and Recognitions of Giles Wilson