Estate agents and lettings agencies exempt from business rates

Estate agents and lettings agencies that have closed as a result of measures to restrict the spread of the coronavirus will be now be exempted from business rates in 2020-21, the Treasury confirmed.

The move comes after Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, announced in his Budget that in response to Covid-19, the business rates retail discount would be increased to 100% next year – and would be expanded to the hospitality and leisure sectors.

The Government has announced that some of the exclusions for this relief have been removed, so that retail, leisure, and hospitality properties that have closed as a result of the coronavirus restriction measures will now be eligible for the relief.

The Chancellor suggested this would ensure estate agents and lettings agencies that are required to close will not pay any business rates next year.

Sunak commented: “We are determined to do whatever it takes to support businesses during Covid-19, which is why we have extended business rates relief for the high street.

“Today, I am removing some of the exclusions for this relief, so that retail, leisure, and hospitality properties that have closed as a result of the measures announced by the Prime Minister in his statement on Monday will now be eligible for the relief.”

The Treasury confirmed that eligible businesses will be rebilled by their local authority and that new bills would be given to them with the 100% discount. For any businesses that had already made payments, the Government added these would be refunded by their local authority.

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