Beleaguered estate agency group Countrywide has asked the government to give agents a business rates holiday.
Measures announced in last week’s Budget gave business rate holidays to some High Street companies, depending on their planning consent status.
However, most estate agencies appear not to be included in the initiative, prompting Countrywide’s letter to Chancellor Rishi Sunak.
In it, Paul Creffield - who is described as Countrywide chief executive, although he has previously even referred to as group managing director - says the company has 740 branches and, across its various sections, employs 10,000 people.
Total tax paid by Countrywide in 2018 was £296.4m says Creffield, who admits the agency industry is now being badly hit by the Coronavirus crisis.
He has told Sunak that he wants consistency on the High Street with estate agents being treated in line with cafes and mainstream shops.
Yesterday the government omitted estate agents from a list of High Street businesses to be included in a new range of rates relief measures announced in response to the Coronavirus threat.