Empty commercial properties: as they become an increasingly common sight on our high streets, the media spotlight gradually moves towards asking why they’re empty and why they so often stay that way, thanks to the creeping popularity of internet shopping or rising business rates.
Aside from the focus on Britain’s emptying high streets, we’re also learning more about the impact of these empty properties on their owners, with empty rates crippling some landlords as they struggle to find new tenants for their vacant premises.
This effectively creates an endless cycle of misery: businesses can’t afford to move to the high street, they leave properties empty, and the landlord can’t afford to keep those properties. Amongst all of this, consumers are directed away from town centres and onto the internet instead, deepening the problem.
But despite the never-ending cycle and the dread hanging over the British high street as an increasing number of household names vanish from it, it’s not all doom and gloom. There are in fact many avenues property owners can go down in order to secure help and support when facing empty property rates.
But if there’s so much on offer, then why are owners still suffering? Why aren’t they getting the support they need? In FCS’ significant experience in this area, we’ve identified three key reasons for why this might be:
- The Knowledge
The simplest and most obvious reason is that landlords just don’t know that the help is out there. They’re unsure about the relief available on empty rates which could see them survive a period of vacancy for their property, or they aren’t aware that the likes of FCS are here to help (something we’re constantly working to change).
- The Complexity
The aforementioned empty rates relief can be a lifeline to commercial property owners once empty rates kick in. There is, however, a problem with pursuing the relief: the red tape involved can be complex and off-putting to individuals who don’t understand the process or know what they’re doing. This often turns people off the idea of asking for empty rates relief, and they miss a prime opportunity in the process.
- The Trust
Finally, there’s understandably some concern around how such a process works – is it legal? Will it cover the entirety of a property’s vacancy? Will it definitely help to reduce empty rates bills? At FCS, we pride ourselves on being completely trustworthy, with a watertight process which is both legal and effective; it’s a happy ending for everybody.
You’re Not Alone
If any of this sounds familiar to you – from suffering with empty property rates, to worrying about the complexity of applying for relief – take comfort in knowing that you’re not alone. The FCS team regularly help our clients to navigate the choppy waters of empty rates relief, as well as taking on the liability of the property for the duration of its vacancy.
This means we take the worry off their hands, allowing clients to concentrate on finding new tenants and doing what they do best: running fantastic businesses and tending to their investments.
If you’re facing the prospect of empty business rates with dread, know that there’s help out there for you: simply get in touch with the FCS team or feel free to explore our website for more information.