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Occupation of Premises by a Charity for Charitable Purposes by Clive Moys

Clive Moys features in the most recent issue of Sweet & Maxwell’s Private Client Business.

The 80% mandatory non-domestic rates relief enjoyed by a charitable body in occupation of a hereditament is a concession of considerable value and importance – Local Government Finance Act 1988, s. 43 (or s. 45, viz. an unoccupied hereditament). Both sections have been the subject of a considerable number of disputes and reported cases in recent years. The question of a charitable body ratepayer being required to demonstrate to a sceptical billing authority (aka a local council) that it satisfies the “public benefit” requirement limb of “charitable purposes” (Charities Act 2011, ss. 2 and 4) arose in a dispute between Nuffield Health and Merton London Borough Council about a hereditament known as Merton Abbey gym. Permission to appeal to the Supreme Court against the majority decision of the Court of Appeal who had upheld the High Court’s decision in favour of the charity has been granted. Hence, the stage is set for our highest court to engage with the issue. The decision is awaited with much interest by both charities and local authorities. The purpose of the article is to explain what the case decided, the reasoning and some possible ramifications, pending the decision of the Supreme Court.


You can read the full article, here.