0800 644 6080
Call FREE from Landline and Mobile
Est. 1989

Business Rate Debts Being Referred to Bailiffs at Rate of Over 200 a Day

Written by: Keith Tully

Reviewed: Wednesday 29th August, 2018

Local councils in England are referring business rate debts to bailiffs at a rate of more than 200 each day, according to a recent investigation.

Business Interest RatesBusiness rates were reformed by government in April 2017 in ways that led to extra financial pressure for many thousands of enterprises across the country and a sizable minority are clearly struggling to keep pace with demands for the resulting payments. 

Remarkably, as many as 81,000 commercial premises are believed to have been referred to bailiffs by local councils in relation to unpaid business rates during the year 2017/18.

Data on the subject has been attained by the Altus Group, a business advisory firm, via a freedom of information request.

The released information covers 264 councils in England and roughly 1.6 million properties, with around one in every 15 companies with business rate bills to pay having faced enforcement action during the 12 months from April 2017.

Pubs, eateries of various sorts and high street retailers were among those to be worst affected by the changes to the UK’s business rates regime.

For their part, local councils in many areas of the country have been finding it tough to balance their books in recent years, with business rates often accounting for a very considerable portion of their annual income.

“Councils are taking enforcement action much earlier since their finances became more aligned to business rates income,” said Robert Hayton from the Altus Group.

“This sometimes leads to companies with manifestly incorrect demands receiving summonses and facing enforcement action.

“The problem is also exacerbated by understaffing within some councils and the inordinate delays that this creates in dealing with ratepayers.”

The highest rate of bailiff referrals in relation to business rate arrears was found to be in Birmingham, where the city council referred 3,864 properties to enforcement agents during the most recent full year.

A sharp rise in bailiff referrals was recorded by Manchester City Council in the year, with the authority passing on details of 2,667 businesses to bailiffs during 2017/18, as compared to 1,932 in 2016/17, according to the official figures.

Keith Tully

Author
Keith Tully
Partner

Join Keith Tully on Linked In Join Keith Tully on Google Plus Follow Keith Tully on Twitter

Keith has been involved in Business Rescue since 1992, during which time he’s worked for both independent and national firms. His specialties include company restructuring matters and negotiating with HMRC on his clients behalf.

Meet our Team of Experts

Who we help

  • Company Directors
  • Finance Directors
  • Sole Traders
  • Accountants
  • Small Businesses
  • Large Businesses
  • Partnerships

Contact our team

Jonathan Munnery
Andrew MacKenzie
Julie Palmer
Thomas Mckay
Keith Tully
Processing...
or Find your Nearest Office

Here at Real Business Rescue we take your privacy seriously and will only use your personal information to contact you with regards to your enquiry. We will not use your information for marketing purposes. See PRIVACY POLICY

Our numbers speak for themselves

55
Number of UK Offices
30000
Directors Helped
70+
Licensed Insolvency Practitioners