Renting out stables

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My own house has 14 stables which I let out to people who have horses which they look after themselves. Some people rent 4 stables others only 1. I do not allow any sub renting or letting.
None of these people run a business from these stables. They only look after their own horses. They supply all their own hay etc.
The council have recently told me there are business rates to pay.
The inland revenue valuation people sent a form which they said had to be filled in by the "tenant" of the stables not the owner.
I phoned them and axplained that the "tenants" changed frequently and that none of them ran a busines from these stables.
They told me to fill in the form my self and to give an average of incoming rent.
I did this and have now received a business rates demand for 1000 per year.

The question is in four parts
1. Are business rates due as no-one is running a business from them.

2. If so who? me as the owner or do the "tenants" share them? If so what if they dont pay them

3. Does simply renting them out for private use constitute business use in itself.. If so surely this would apply to a house being rented out. In other words the landlord would pay business rates.

4.When the house was valued for council tax, surely the stables would have been part of the value of the property and therefore I am already paying more council tax than if they were not there. Should this difference be taken off any business rate bill?

Any advice gratefully appeciated

23/02/2007 00:00

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