Landlord liable for empty rates on disclaimer by tenant’s liquidator

Landlord liable for empty rates on disclaimer by tenant’s liquidator

Is a property owner liable for business rates where a lease is disclaimed but the tenant’s obligations have been guaranteed?

The High Court decided that it was. 

Original news:

Schroder Exempt Property and another v Birmingham City Council [2014] EWHC 2207 (Admin)

Schroder Exempt Property and another (SEP) were freehold owners of the property. On 5 June 2006, they granted a 10 year lease of the Property to Woodward Foodservice Limited (WFL), the tenant’s obligations being guaranteed by W F Group Holdings Limited (GHL). The lease required the tenant to pay all outgoings, including rent on 23 July 2008, with SEP’s consent, WFL assigned the lease to W F Group Limited (GL) and WFL entered into

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About the author:

Melissa Moore is a dual qualified in England and Wales and South African lawyer and has 14 years’ experience in property practice in England. She has worked in local government and been a partner at a regional law firm and most recently an associate director at Berwin Leighton Paisner which she joined in 2005. Melissa has wide experience in all areas of property law and specializes in commercial real estate development. She has experience in a number of sectors including hotel, leisure, offices, investment, industrial, motorway service stations and funding. She has worked on large scale strategic developments and government funding initiatives, town centre regeneration schemes and private mixed use developments both for public sector and private developers and investment funds. In 2013 she was ranked by Legal 500 as recommended for local government work.