Basildon Council has secured an order requiring a publican to pay more than £95,000 in unpaid business rates as well as £16,000 in legal costs.
The order was obtained by the Council at Basildon Magistrates Court on 7 August 2017.
Mr Shaun O’Donoghue, the owner of the Belvedere in Billericay, had claimed that – for the period the council were charging him business rates – the property was occupied by several different third-party companies for which he had leases with.
The council’s business rates department had made numerous enquiries and visits to the property before sending bills to Mr O'Donoghue.
The publican argued that he had lease agreements with companies and that they should be liable to pay the business rates.
The council said that as each of these companies had since gone into liquidation the balance due to the authority would have to be written off, meaning a large loss of money.
The Magistrate agreed with the council that the lease agreements had been created to avoid paying business rates, and O’Donoghue was ordered to pay the full amount due, including costs.
A Liability Order was also granted by the Magistrates, the council said so as to increase the avenues by which it then could recover the monies due.
All rights acknowleged- source Local Government Lawyer