There have been two recent decisions of relevance to non-domestic rates and empty properties.
In the case of Preston City Council v Oyston Angel Charity  EWHC 2005 the High Court considered the interpretation of section 45(A)(2) of the Local Government Finance Act 1988.
Section 45(A)(2) provides for property to be zero-rated for business rates, where the property is empty, the owner is a charity and when it is re-occupied it will be used mainly for charitable purposes.
The High Court considered in this case that there was no requirement for the premises to be used by the owning charity for charitable purposes. This case is an interesting decision particularly bearing in mind cases where charities lease premises with no intention of occupying.
In the case of Makro Properties Ltd v Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council  EWHC 2250 the High Court found that temporary storage of documents occupying only 0.2% of a premises was occupation and therefore empty rates relief was available again when the occupation ended.
If you are in dispute with the Council concerning your business rates than please contact Will Oakes
on 01473 746000
for an initial free consultation or e-mail Will at email@example.com