§ Mr. Wigley
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make it his policy to ensure that landlords of houses in multiple occupation do not become liable to pay business rates on the property unless a legitimate business is run from the property.
§ Mr. Key
Rates are a tax on the occupation of non-domestic property and, in general, it is the occupier who is liable, not the owner or landlord. Living accommodation, whether it is part of a house in multiple occupation or not, is not rateable unless its use for non-domestic purposes is such that it would preclude the domestic use of all or part of it. In the first instance it is for the Inland Revenue valuation office to decide whether a property should be included in non-domestic rating lists.