Rossendale Borough Council v Hurstwood Properties [2019] EWCA Civ 364

WTLR Issue: Spring 2020

ROSSENDALE BOROUGH COUNCIL

V

HURSTWOOD PROPERTIES (A) LIMITED AND OTHERS;

and

WIGAN COUNCIL v PROPERTY ALLIANCE GROUP LIMITED

Analysis

Two schemes to avoid the payment of National Non-domestic Rates (NDR), by granting a short lease of unoccupied properties to special purpose vehicle companies (SPVs), which were then allowed to be dissolved, either by voluntary winding up or as dormant companies. Under the NDR legislation, the liability to pay rates on unoccupied property fell on the ‘owner’, being the person entitled to possession, which would include a lessee. However, properties owned by a company being wound up voluntarily were excluded under the applicable Regulations from being subject to NDR at all.

Counsel details

Mr Robin Mathew QC, Mr James Couser and Mr Stephen Ryan (The Chambers of John McDonnell QC, 3 Stone Buildings, Lincoln’s Inn, London WC2A 3XL, Tel: 020 7242 4937 Email clerks@threestone.law) instructed by AW Law Limited T/A Alexander Whyatt Solicitors (4 Selsdon Way, London E14 9GL, Tel: 020 7537 7000 Email info@london-law.co.uk) for the Claimants.
Mr Nicholas Trompeter (Selborne Chambers, 10 Essex Street, London WC2R 3AA, Tel: 020 7420 9500 Email: clerks@selbornechambers.co.uk instructed by Addleshaw Goddard LLP (Milton Gate, 60 Chiswell Street, London EC1Y 4AG, Tel: 020 7606 8855) for the Defendants.

Cases referenced

Cases in bold have further reading - click to view.

Legislation referenced

Legislation in bold has further reading - click to view.

  • 64
  • 65 |Rating (Empty Properties) Act 2007
  • Finance Act 2013
  • Finance Act 2013, Part 5, s.206
  • Insolvency Act: 1986
  • Local Government Finance Act 1988, ss.43 to 45, 64, 65
  • Part 5
  • Rating (Empty Properties) Act 2007, s.1
  • s.1
  • s.206 |Insolvency Act 1986 |Local Government Finance Act 1988
  • ss.43 to 45