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An Innovative Challenge to Business Rates


Ruhi Sethi






Ruhi Sethi has defeated a challenge by the landlord to an application for a number of liability orders.

The premises in question are being converted from commercial office space to student accommodation.

Firstly, the landlord argued that if the contractors were to allow occupation they would be guilty of an offence under the Health and Safety At Work Act 1974 and therefore that the premises were prohibited by law.

Secondly, the landlord argued that in the event that the premises are not prohibited by law, that the contractors had ‘possession’ for the purposes of section 65 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988.

Ruhi successfully argued that this case should not be distinguished from the facts and therefore the judgment in Pall Mall Investments (London) Ltd v Gloucester City Council [2014] EWHC 2247 and that the contractor’s possession of the premises did not amount to an interest in land sufficient to make it the owner for the purposes of section 65.



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