Article Posted -
31 Oct 2017

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Cash strapped local authorities are often found looking for new revenue streams, often turning to landlords to make ends meet.

As a consequence it is not uncommon to hear the refrain that landlords should be expected to pay Business Rates on their properties, specifically those which house students and are as such exempt from Council Tax.

Some, like Liverpool City Council, even went so far as to vote on whether they should lobby central government for the power to impose the extra taxation.

The NLA has raised this issue on behalf of its members with DCLG on many occasions, and received reassurance that the respective government of the day was not inclined to adopt such a ludicrous policy.

However, it is reassuring to see that the current local government minister (Marcus Jones) agrees with us, and his predecessors. This is illustrated by the following exchange, which took place in the House of Commons on 30 October 2017.

 

Thangam Debbonaire (Bristol West) (Lab) asked:

In Bristol, university expansion means that a significant increase in student numbers is putting pressure on stretched local services right now, yet student accommodation providers contribute almost nothing to the costs. Will the Secretary of State meet me to discuss bringing student accommodation within the scope of business rates, like other businesses, to help to ease this strain on Bristol and other councils?

 

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (Mr Marcus Jones) answered:

I can confirm to the hon. Lady that we have no plans to change business rates by bringing student accommodation into their scope as she advocates.

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