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New business owners no longer liable for rates arrears of previous tenants

News that the owners of new businesses moving into premises will no longer be liable for commercial rates left unpaid by previous tenants has received a broad welcome.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014
8:50 AM GMT



News that the owners of new businesses moving into premises will no longer be liable for commercial rates left unpaid by previous tenants has received a broad welcome.

Under the current laws, they were liable for up to two years arrears incurred by previous tenants. It was seen by many ias an impediment to those wanting to start up new business and there's been calls for some time to change the law to provide a greater incentive to new start-ups.

The amendment to the legislation was put forward by Fine Gael TD Paudie Coffey. It was approved by TDs last week. The Bill will be enacted after being signed by the President.

The business representative association ISME had been lobbying for the change for many years. CE Mark Fielding said it which will have a positive impact on businesses all over the country, removing a major barrier to businesses countrywide taking over new premises.

"Not only as the chair of the Fermoy Business Action Group but also as a business owner in the town, this change is hugely positive and one that should have been passed a long time ago. To expect a new business to take on the debts of the one previously occupying the premises is archaic. I believe that the move will assist growth of business in the town and should enable the town to attract more business to the town," Adrian Godwin said.

Local councillor Noel McCarthy also welcomed the move. He'd long lobbied for such a change, saying it was needed to give an incentive to those starting up their own business.

"I appreciate that the money owed has to be paid but the new person taking over the premises shouldn't have to be saddled with it. This change in the law eliminates what was a heavy financial burden for new occupiers and will hopefully act as an incentive to people considering starting up."

Cllr Frank O'Flynn was another pleased with the news. He said it was only right that what was an unacceptable financial burden on new occupiers, was removed.

"People are very brave to start up in these tough economic times. They should be incentivised to do so. It'll put life back into rural Ireland's towns and villages. I'm glad they listened." He also said rates should be deferred for a time for new businesses to give them a foothold. It's something he has lobbied for previously.

Fine Gael local election candidate Kay Dawson, said it was great news for businesses in north Cork and throughout the country and something they have been seeking for some time.

"It was ludicrous that a law dating from before the Famine was still affecting Irish businesses in the 21st century," she pointed out. 


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