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Agencies closed in lockdown exempt from business rates for one year

Estate and lettings agencies that have closed temporarily as a result of the Coronavirus lockdown are to be to exempted from business rates in 2020-21.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the government was “determined to do whatever it takes” to support business through the crisis.

“I am removing some 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. This will ensure that estate agents, lettings agencies and bingo halls that are required to close will not pay any business rates next year" says Sunak.

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You can see the full government announcement here.

There had been a vigourous campaign mounted by the National Association of Estate Agents and other trade bodies, as well as some individual agencies, to ensure agencies were added to the list of High Street operators already given the business rates holiday. 

This afternoon Mark Hayward of the NAEA said: “We're pleased to see that the Government has listened and acknowledged the concerns from many estate and letting agencies across the country, that resulted in requests to three Secretaries of State last week for the business rates relief to be extended to estate and letting agents. This is a real boost in uncertain times and will assist all businesses that are finding it difficult to operate in the current environment.”

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