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Rates (Northern Ireland) Order 1977

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Commencement Orders bringing legislation that affects this Order into force:

Liability and assessmentN.I.

[F1Liability to be rated in respect of hereditamentsN.I.

18.(1) Subject to the provisions of this Order, every occupier of a hereditament which is included in the valuation lists shall be chargeable to rates in respect of the hereditament according to its rateable values.

(2) In respect of a specified hereditament which has a rateable capital value regulations may—

(a)specify, or provide for there to be determined under the regulations—

(i)its maximum capital value;

(ii)its minimum capital value;

(b)provide that a person shall be liable in respect of its—

(i)maximum capital value instead of its rateable capital value, if its rateable capital value exceeds its maximum capital value;

(ii)minimum capital value instead of its rateable capital value, if its rateable capital value is less than its minimum capital value;

(c)provide that references in specified provisions to its capital value or to its rateable capital value are to be construed as references to its maximum capital value or its minimum capital value as the case may be.

(3) In paragraph (2)—

specified hereditament” means a hereditament which falls within a class specified in regulations under that paragraph;

specified provisions” means provisions of, or made under, this Order specified in regulations under that paragraph.]

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F1Art. 18 substituted (1.12.2006 for certain purposes, otherwise 1.4.2007) by Rates (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 (S.I. 2006/2954 (N.I. 18)), arts. 1(3), 6; S.R. 2006/464, art. 2(2), (4), Sch. 2

General provisions as to liability and assessment to rateN.I.

19.—(1) The following general provisions shall have effect with respect to the assessment of persons to, and their liability on account of, a rate in respect of any hereditament for any year.

(2) A person who is in occupation of the hereditament for part only of the year shall, subject to the provisions of this Article, be liable to be charged with such part only of the total amount of the rate as bears to that amount the same proportion as the number of days during which he is in occupation bears to the total number of days in the year.

(3) A person who is in occupation of the hereditament for any part of the year may be assessed to the rate in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (2) notwithstanding that he ceased to be in occupation before the rate was made.

(4) A person who is in occupation of the hereditament at any time after the rate is made may be assessed to and shall in the first instance be liable to pay—

(a)if he was in occupation at the beginning of the year, the whole of the amount charged in respect of the hereditament; or

(b)if he came into occupation subsequently, a proportion of that amount calculated on the basis that he will remain in occupation until the end of the year,

but shall, if he goes out of occupation before the end of the year, be entitled to recover from the Department any sums paid by him in excess of the amount properly chargeable against him in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (2)[F2 and paragraph 3(2) of Schedule 8A], except that—

(i)no allowance shall be made for a period of less than seven days;

(ii)F3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(iii)a person shall not be entitled to recover any such sum in so far as he has previously recovered it from an incoming occupier.

(5) Where the name of any person liable to be rated as occupier of any hereditament is not known to the Department, it shall be sufficient to assess him to the rate by the description of the “occupier” of the hereditament (naming it) in respect of which the assessment is made, without further name or description.

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Rating of owners instead of occupiers in certain casesN.I.

20.[F4(1) Subject to the provisions of this Order, rates shall be payable by, and levied on, the owner, instead of the occupier, of a hereditament if any of the following sub-paragraphs applies—

(a)the net annual value of the hereditament does not exceed £750;

(b)the capital value of the hereditament does not exceed £55,000;

(c)both the following conditions are satisfied—

(i)the rent of the hereditament is payable or is collected at intervals shorter than quarterly or the tenancy agreement (if any, and all of them if more than one) does not provide when it is payable or collected; and

(ii)either its net annual value does not exceed £1,590 or its capital value does not exceed £150,000;

(d)separate parts of the hereditament are let as apartments or lodgings; or

(e)the hereditament consists of or includes a house in multiple occupation.

(1A) Where a hereditament has a net annual value and a capital value, both conditions in sub-paragraphs (a) and (b) or, as the case may be, in sub-paragraph (c)(ii) of paragraph (1) must be satisfied.

(1B) In paragraph (1)(e) “house in multiple occupation” has the same meaning as in Part IV of the Housing (Northern Ireland) Order 1992 (NI 15) except that—

(a)a person under the age of 16 shall not be treated as a qualifying person for the purposes of that definition; and

(b)paragraphs (5) and (6) of Article 31AA shall apply for the purposes of determining whether a person is a member of another person's family for the purposes of this paragraph as they apply for the purposes of that Article.]

(2) Where any owner is rated under this Article, he shall be entitled to such relief in respect of any non-occupation of the hereditament as he would have been entitled to receive had he been rated as the occupier in respect thereof.

(3) Notwithstanding anything in paragraph (1), so long as a person who has wilfully entered upon a hereditament [F5to which (subject to paragraph (1A)) sub-paragraph (a), (b) or (e) of paragraph (1) applies] with intent wrongfully to take possession of, or use, the hereditament is in occupation of the hereditament without the permission of the owner, that person, and not the owner, shall be chargeable to rates in respect of the hereditament.

(4) There shall be allowed to each owner who is rated under this Article and pays the amount due from him on account of the rate on or before the date of the expiration of—

(a)half the year for which the rate is madeF6. . . ; or

(b)one month from the date of service of the demand note on which the rate is levied;

whichever is the later, an allowance equal to 7½ per cent. of the amount payable.

[F7(5) The Department may by order made subject to affirmative resolution substitute a different limit for any limit specified in paragraph (1)(a), (b) or (c)(ii); but any such order shall not affect any person's liability for rates for any period before the coming into force of the first new valuation list to come into force after the date of the order, being a valuation list relevant to the net annual value or capital value of the hereditament in question.]

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Payment or collection of rates by owners by agreementN.I.

21.—(1) The owner of any hereditament the rent of which becomes payable or is collected at intervals shorter than quarterly may by agreement in writing with the Department undertake[F8 that he will pay the rates chargeable in respect of the hereditament whether it is occupied or not] and the Department may agree, where the owner so undertakes and pays over to the Department on or before the date or dates specified in the agreement the amounts payable by him thereunder, to make him an allowance not[F8 exceeding [F912.5 per cent.]]

(2) An allowance made under paragraph (1) in respect of any hereditament to an owner who is rated under Article 20 shall be in substitution for any allowance to which he might otherwise have been entitled in respect of that hereditament under that Article.

(3) An agreement entered into under this Article shall continue in force until determined by notice served either by the Department on the owner or by the owner on the Department, and, in the event of a change in the ownership of any hereditament while the agreement is in force, shall continue to be binding upon the new owner as if it had been made by him.

(4) A notice for the purposes of paragraph (3) shall take effect only on the expiration of a year and shall be given not less than six months before the expiration of that year.

Paras. (5), (6) rep. by 1998 NI 22

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Provisions supplementary to Articles 20 and 21N.I.

22.—(1) Where in the case of any hereditament the owner is rated in respect thereof in pursuance of Article 20, or has undertaken in pursuance of Article 21 to pay or collect the rates charged in respect thereof, the amount due from him on account of those rates shall be recoverable by the Department from him in like manner and subject to the like conditions as rates payable by the occupier of a hereditament (not being an occupier by whom a notice under Article 29 of his election to pay rates by instalments has been given and is for the time being in force) are recoverable from the occupier.

(2) The Department may serve on an owner who is rated under Article 20 instead of the occupier or who enters into an agreement with the Department under Article 21 a notice requiring him to state to the Department in writing, within a period and in the manner specified in the notice,—

(a)the names and addresses of the occupiers of the hereditaments in respect of which he is so rated or has so agreed; and

(b)such particulars with respect to the periods for which any of those hereditaments have been unoccupied and with respect to the amount which he has failed to collect from the occupiers as the Department may require for the purpose of enabling it to determine what amount is properly due from the owner under Article 20 or 21;

and the owner shall comply with the notice.

(3) Where the name of any person liable to be rated as owner of any hereditament is not known to the Department, it shall be sufficient to assess him to the rate by the description of the “owner” of the hereditament (naming it) in respect of which the assessment is made, without further name or description.

F10[(4)  The Department may by order direct that for any percentage mentioned in Article 20(4) or 21(1) there shall be substituted such other percentage as may be specified in the order.

[F11(4A) In paragraphs (4B) and (4C) “existing agreement”, in relation to an order under either of those paragraphs, means an agreement under Article 21 which is in force on the commencement of the order under that paragraph.

(4B) Where the Department makes an order under paragraph (4), the Department may by order direct that for any percentage specified in an existing agreement there shall be substituted such other percentage as may be specified in the order under this paragraph.

(4C) The Department may by order direct that for any percentage mentioned in an existing agreement in respect of a hereditament of a class specified in the order there shall be substituted such other percentage as may be specified in the order.

(4D) The power conferred by paragraph (4C) is exercisable whether or not it is exercised in consequence of an order under paragraph (4).]

(5)  An order under paragraph (4) [F12, (4B) or (4C)] shall be subject to affirmative resolution and shall have effect from the beginning of the year after that in which it is made.]

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Liability of occupier for rates unpaid by ownerN.I.

23.—(1) Notwithstanding that the owner of a hereditament is liable for, or has undertaken, payment of the rates assessed thereon, if—

(a)any sum due on account of a rate in respect of the hereditament is not paid by the owner on or before—

(i)where the sum is payable under Article 20, the date mentioned in paragraph (4) of that Article; or

(ii)where the sum is payable under an agreement entered into under Article 21, the date specified in that agreement which is applicable in relation to that sum; or

(b)a notice has been served on the occupier of the hereditament under Article 26(1) and he has not complied with it;

any sum due on account of a rate in respect of the hereditament shall, without prejudice to any liability of the owner, become payable by, and, subject to paragraph (2), may be levied on, the occupier of the hereditament.

(2) The occupier shall not be compelled to pay to the Department under this Article at any time any sum greater than the amount of rent due from him at that time, unless a notice has been served on him under Article 26(1) and he has not complied with it.

(3) Where an occupier pays under paragraph (1) any sum due on account of a rate which, if it had been paid by the owner, would not give rise to a payment by the occupier under paragraph 3 of Schedule 8, then, notwithstanding any covenant or agreement to the contrary,—

(a)the occupier may deduct the amount of the payment from the rent due to the owner; and

(b)if the amount of rent due is less than the amount of the payment, the occupier—

(i)may deduct the difference between those amounts from the rent accruing due to the owner then or in the future, or

(ii)may recover that difference from the owner as a debt;

and every payment in respect of which a deduction is made under sub-paragraph ( a) or ( b)(i) shall be a valid discharge of the rent to the extent of the payment.

[F13Liability to be rated in respect of hereditaments owned by the Housing Executive, etc.N.I.

23A.(1) Regulations may provide that a person shall be chargeable to rates in respect of a hereditament in the social sector as if its rateable capital value were such figure as may be determined by the Department (its “social sector value”).

(2) The Department shall determine the social sector value so as to ensure that the amount of rates chargeable is such proportion of any rent payable to the owner as the Department considers appropriate.

(3) In this Article—

hereditament in the social sector” means a hereditament which—

(a)

is wholly owned by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive or such registered housing associations or other bodies as may be prescribed; and

(b)

is not a hereditament of a prescribed description;

registered”, in relation to a housing association, means registered in the register maintained under Part II of the Housing (Northern Ireland) Order 1992 (NI 15).

(4) Regulations may provide—

(a)for such references in this Order to capital value or to rateable capital value as may be prescribed to be construed as references to social sector value in relation to a hereditament in the social sector; and

(b)for Articles 10 and 15(1)(b) to have effect subject to the regulations.]

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Recovery of rates from tenants and lodgersN.I.

24.—(1) Without prejudice to Article 23, where the rates due from the person rated in respect of any hereditament are in arrear, the Department may serve on any person paying rent for that hereditament, or any part thereof, to the person from whom the arrears are due a notice stating the amount of those arrears of rates and requiring all future payments of rent (whether already accrued due or not) by the person paying rent to be made direct to the Department until those arrears are duly paid; and that notice shall operate to transfer to the Department the right to recover, receive and give a discharge for that rent.

(2) In this Article, “rent” includes a payment made by a lodger.

Incidence of rates as between landlord and tenantN.I.

25.  The provisions of Schedule 8 shall have effect for regulating the incidence of rates as between landlord and tenant in the circumstances mentioned in that Schedule.

[F14Liability to be rated in respect of certain unoccupied hereditamentsN.I.

25A.(1) Subject to the provisions of this Order, if the conditions specified in paragraph (2) are satisfied a person shall be chargeable to rates in respect of a hereditament which is unoccupied.

(2) The conditions are—

(a)the hereditament is one to which Schedule 8A applies; and

(b)the person is entitled to possession of it.

(3) A person shall be chargeable to rates under this Article only in respect of a period during which—

(a)the hereditament is unoccupied; and

(b)both the conditions specified in paragraph (2) are satisfied.

(3A) F15. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(4) For the purposes of this Article a hereditament is unoccupied only if no person is in occupation of any part of it.

(5) For the purposes of this Article a hereditament which is not in use shall be treated as unoccupied if (apart from this paragraph) it would be treated as occupied by reason only of there being kept in or on the hereditament plant or machinery—

(a)which was used in or on the hereditament when it was last in use; or

(b)which is intended for use in or on the hereditament.

(6) Schedule 8A (which makes further provision relating to the liability to be rated in respect of certain unoccupied hereditaments) shall have effect.]

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[F16New buildingsN.I.

25B.(1) Schedule 8B (which makes provision with respect to the determination of a day as the completion day in relation to a new building) shall have effect.

(2) Where—

(a)a completion notice is served under Schedule 8B; and

(b)the building to which the notice relates is not completed on or before the relevant day,

then for the purposes of this Order the building shall be deemed to be completed on that day.

(3) For the purposes of paragraph (2) the relevant day in relation to a completion notice is—

(a)where an appeal against the notice is brought under paragraph 4 of Schedule 8B, the day determined under that Schedule as the completion day in relation to the building to which the notice relates; and

(b)where no appeal against the notice is brought under that paragraph, the day stated in the notice.

(4) Where—

(a)a day is determined under Schedule 8B as the completion day in relation to a new building, and

(b)the building is not occupied on that day,

it shall be deemed for the purposes of Article 25A to become unoccupied on that day.

(5) Where—

(a)a day is determined under Schedule 8B as the completion day in relation to a new building, and

(b)the building is one produced by the structural alteration of an existing building,

the hereditament which comprised the existing building shall be deemed for the purposes of Article 25A to have ceased to exist, and to have been omitted from the list, on that day.

(6) In this Article—

(a)“building” includes part of a building; and

(b)references to a new building include references to a building produced by the structural alteration of an existing building where the existing building is comprised in a hereditament which, by virtue of the alteration, becomes, or becomes part of, a different hereditament or different hereditaments.]

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Power of Department to require information as to ownership, etc., of hereditamentsN.I.

26.—(1) The Department may, for the purposes of this Order, serve a notice on the occupier of any hereditament, or a person paying rent in respect of a hereditament, requiring him to state to the Department in writing, within a period and in the manner specified in the notice,—

(a)the nature of his own interest therein;

(b)the rate at which rent (if any) is payable by him and the dates on which it falls due;

(c)the amount of rent (if any) then due from him;

(d)the name and address of the owner of the hereditament.

(2) Where the Department has reason to believe that a person is receiving or is entitled to receive rent in respect of a hereditament in the capacity of agent or trustee for any other person, the Department may, for the purposes of this Order, serve a notice on him requiring him to state to the Department in writing, within a period and in the manner specified in the notice,—

(a)the nature of that capacity;

(b)the name and address of that other person;

(c)such particulars of—

(i)the rents paid or payable to him in that capacity,

(ii)the hereditaments in respects of which the rents are payable, and

(iii)his receipts and disbursements on account of such rents,

as are required by the notice.

[F17(2ZA) The Department may, for the purposes of this Order, serve a notice on any relevant person requiring him to state to the Department in writing, within a period and in the manner specified in the notice, the following information if it is within his knowledge or control—

(a)the name of the occupier of a hereditament specified in the notice;

(b)the name and address of the owner of a hereditament specified in the notice.]

[F18(2A) If a hereditament to which Schedule 8A applies is unoccupied and the name and address of the person entitled to possession of it are unknown to the Department, the Department may, for the purposes of this Order, serve a notice on any relevant person requiring him to provide to the Department in writing, within a period and in the manner specified in the notice, such prescribed information in respect of that hereditament as is required by the notice and is within his knowledge or control.

(2B) In [F19paragraphs (2ZA) and (2A)] “relevant person” means a district council or any person who the Department has reason to believe is or has been—

(a)a person on whom a notice may be served under paragraph (1) or (2);

(b)a person entitled to possession of the hereditament;

[F20(bb)the owner of the hereditament;]

(c)a person doing estate agency work (within the meaning of the Estate Agents Act 1979);

(d)a statutory undertaker (within the meaning of the Planning (Northern Ireland) Order 1991 (NI 11)); or

(e)a communications provider (within the meaning of the Communications Act 2003 (c. 21)) or a public telecommunications operator (within the meaning of the Telecommunications Act 1984 (c. 12)).]

(3) Where a notice is served on a person under[F18 this Article] he shall comply with the notice.

(4) In this Article—

  • “hereditament” includes part of a hereditament;

  • “rent” includes a payment made by a lodger.

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Modifications etc. (not altering text)

[F21Powers of entry of persons authorised by DepartmentN.I.

26A.(1) F22. . . Any person authorised by the Department in writing in that behalf may, on production if required of his credentials, at any reasonable time enter any land for the purpose of gathering information regarding that or any other land for the purposes of this Order.

(2) F23. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

[F24(3) The occupier or, if the land is not occupied, the person entitled to possession of it shall give such assistance as the person mentioned in paragraph (1) may reasonably require to enter the land or for the purpose mentioned in that paragraph.]]

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