Vacancy in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • Arbuckle Smith & Company Ltd v Greenock Corporation
    • House of Lords
    • 18 Feb 1960

    Yet activity carried on in relation to premises, the sole object of which is to make the premises fit for the only use which is contemplated, does not amount to the kind of actual user as is essential to rateable occupation. So long as the activities were confined to making the premises fit for a contemplated purpose, the premises were not serving the Appellants' purposes as warehousemen. The premises were not being applied to the purpose for which they existed but were in an antecedent stage.

    It is evident, therefore, that there will not be occupation in the context of rating unless some use is made of the hereditament in the course of the relevant year. "Use" is not a word of precise meaning, but in general it conveys the idea of enjoyment derived by the user from the corpus of the object enjoyed.

    Now, the Appellants never used the warehouse in question here as a warehouse during 1957-58. This is not a case of a warehouse being kept empty in one year by its owner after it had been used as such by him in the previous year: nor is it one of those cases of "stand-by" premises such as were the subject of decision in Borwick v. Southwark Corporation [1909] 1 K.B. 78 and Associated Cinema Properties, Limited v. Hampstead Borough Council [1944] 1 K.B. 412.

    Since language is not a precise instrument, it is possible to say that there was use of the premises in the circumstance that they were entered and subjected to the work of adaptation. I do not think, however, that it is this sort of user that is relevant when the Court is considering whether a warehouse was in rateable occupation. There was no enjoyment of the value of the building as a warehouse.

  • Ravenseft Properties Ltd v Newham London Borough Council
    • Court of Appeal
    • 14 Oct 1975

    (b) that the work remaining to be done on a building within their area is such that the erection of the building can reasonably be expected to be completed within three months, and that the building is, or when completed will be, comprised in a relevant hereditament, the authority may serve on the owner of the building a notice (hereafter in this paragraph referred to as 'a complete notice') stating that the erection of the building is to be treated for the purposes of this Schedule as completed on the date of service of the notice or on such later date as may be specified by the notice."

    If the building lacks features which before it can be occupied will have to be provided and when provided will form part of the occupied heredity-amount and form the basis of the valuation of that hereditament, then I would take the view, unless constrained to the contrary, that that building was not within the meaning of the relevant provision of a completed building.

  • Gloucester City Council v Miles
    • Court of Appeal
    • 20 Feb 1985

    To do so it must state (a) that the authority is satisfied that applicant for accommodation becamehomeless intentionally; (b) when he or she is considered to have become homeless; (c) why he or she is said to have become homeless at that time, i.e. what is the deliberate act or omission in consequence of which it is concluded that at that time he or she ceased to occupy accommodation which was available for his or her occupation?

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Law Firm Commentaries
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