Empty Property Rates (SMEs)

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 11:00 am on 11th January 2012.

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Photo of Julian Sturdy Julian Sturdy Conservative, York Outer 11:00 am, 11th January 2012

I entirely agree with my hon. Friend. The six-month exemption period—indeed, it is only three months for retail premises, which is obviously even shorter—is incredibly burdensome for property owners. He is right that the short exemption period is difficult when marketing these properties and looking for new tenants.

We have to accept that there must be churn within the market. No one will ever say that we will get 100% of such properties filled up. Even in the best of times, we are perhaps talking about filling 80% to 85% of properties, and there must be that effective churn within the market to allow flexibility within businesses.