Lock-up Garages (Council Tax/Business Rates)

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    Lock-up Garages (Council Tax/Business Rates)

    Dear all,

    We are considering buying a small block of 7 lock-up garages. These are going to be split off an existing property, and thus currently do not have any Council Tax or Business rate information associated with them.

    In their current configuration, as part of a residential property, they do not attract either Business or Council Taxes individually or as a block.

    I have read online "Currently, as from April 1990, rates are no longer applicable on lock-up garages."

    I've been unable to find the source of this statement, and thus test it's veracity. Obviously the treatment of these lock-ups for tax purposes is an important factor is the viability of this scheme.

    The garages will be let for storage of private property and vehicles along with the short driveway in front of each (~1 car length)

    Payment of tax on the rental income is expected, but nobody appears able to advise on the treatment WRT local taxation.

    Can anyone advise on this aspect of taxation. My own accountant is in the dark, and our surveyor believes the council may attempt to apply business rates, but is unsure.

    Many thanks for any advice or suggestions, especially if they know the source of the April 1990 quote.

    LUGS are currently exempt, but that's highly likely to change



      Thanks for the confirmation of the current status. Can you advise the source of this information, as I'm unable to identify anything authoritative.
      For example a LUG attached to the local newsagent is rated for business purposes at £300 p/a

      I know we cannot judge the future trends from HMRC et. al. but it seems strange that nothing obvious comes up on the internet providing the law supporting your statement.

      I've tried a couple of companies that make the April 1990 quote, but neither appear willing to share the source of their assertion.

      Many thanks


        i didn't know the answer to your question so I searched on-line; took just a few minutes to find the answer!

        The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) is responsible for determining whether a lock-up garage should be assessed for business rates purposes. On assessment, the billing authority issue a demand for the rates charge. However, if the billing authority is satisfied the unit is unoccupied for commercial purposes, the hereditament may be exempted under Section 45 Local Government Finance Act 1988.


          I've tried that myself.
          Following S.45 of the Finance act leads to the 1998 Housing act.
          Which doesn't realy help apart from saying the charge is at the discretion of the Secretary of State.

          I can't find where the SoS has used that disscretion to give a blanket exemption.

          It's difficult to track down but if it"s being accepted by councils that all lock-up gatages are exempt then not a problem.


            At one time I did not pay Business Rates on Stables.
            Then one day a bunch of people turned up from the Valuation Agency and started measuring all the stables.
            I queried why they were doing it and there reply was "if you take money off people we are entitled to our share" and so it will be if you buy them and start to rent them out.
            If the garages are on a separate plot of land I would ask a Chartered Town Planner if there is a possibility that you could get planning permission for development, small house, using the same sq. ft that the garages are.
            Whatever you do don't ask the Council Planners and tip them off.


              I wouldn't worry about it.

              As soon as you lease out a garage that person is responsible for any business rates due - and as long as they don't have any other rateable premises they will get 100% allowance and pay nothing.

              Think of it like beach huts.

              If the garages are in a detached block, I would also look to see if you could build a "coach house flat" above.
              My views are my own - you may not agree with them. I tend say things as I see them and I don't do "political correctness". Just because we may not agree you can still buy me a pint lol


                For everyone who has contributed, many thanks. As usual anything involving bureaucrats is at best arcane, and at worst incomprehensible

                The information provided has provided me the necessary confidence on where to go next, and is very much appreciated.


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