Asked to repay 10k grant

Discussion in 'COVID-19 Forum' started by anonuk, Jun 4, 2020.

  1. anonuk

    anonuk UKBF Regular Free Member

    302 44
    So here's one for you...

    I have a company that, according to the government guidelines for SBRR, began occupying a business premises as of 9th March (i.e. we began moving our equipment into the property). The company our new landlord bought the property from has informed the council that the official completion date of the sale to our landlord was 13th March so now the council are seeking a written agreement between ourselves and the previous owner that we were allowed to move our equipment into the property prior to completion. We do not have any agreement, written or otherwise, with the previous owner (the developer as it's a new build) and so the council have asked us to repay the SBRR grant.

    What I am wondering is whether we should appeal this or not. We still have the grant money in the bank account so it's not an issue repaying it but it's a matter of if we are eligible we shouldn't have to repay it.
    Posted: Jun 4, 2020 By: anonuk Member since: Feb 27, 2014
  2. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    25,382 3,094
    Not appealing appears to cost you £10k - so if appealing is cheap enough then worth at the very least exploring.
    Posted: Jun 4, 2020 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
  3. anonuk

    anonuk UKBF Regular Free Member

    302 44
    That's my thinking. I think I am going to repay the grant as I don't want to be in a position of wrongfully receiving the grant, however, I think I should make it clear that I will be appealing their decision as everything I have read online says you become liable for business rates when you occupy the property and just because I didn't have a formal agreement with the previous owner, doesn't mean I didn't occupy the property.
    Posted: Jun 4, 2020 By: anonuk Member since: Feb 27, 2014
  4. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    25,382 3,094
    Just make sure you weren't squatting!
    Posted: Jun 4, 2020 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
  5. Alison Moore

    Alison Moore UKBF Enthusiast Full Member

    721 150
    I wouldn't repay the grant until they ask you to. But also appeal the decision. Did you insure your possessions at the property before moving in? Do have any photos showing that you had moved possessions in or any correspondence between yourself and the landlord showing when you collected the keys or similar. Or alternatively, ask the landlord to confirm that they gave you permission to move in early.
    Posted: Jun 4, 2020 By: Alison Moore Member since: Aug 4, 2016
  6. jimbof

    jimbof UKBF Regular Free Member

    206 37
    So how did it come to pass that you had access to the property? If the landlord you have a contract with didn't own it, on what authority were you in the premises? What is the date on your lease with your landlord?
    Posted: Jun 4, 2020 By: jimbof Member since: Apr 10, 2020
  7. anonuk

    anonuk UKBF Regular Free Member

    302 44
    We have email correspondence and photo evidence of some of our equipment being delivered to the new premises but it would appear that the landlord was only in the process of buying the property and didn't have authority to allow us access. This is new information we didn't have originally.

    The landlord had the keys for the property and gave us a set so we could move some equipment to the property. I believe the landlord had exchanged contracts with the developer but not actually completed, however, I am only finding out about this now.

    What annoys me more than anything is that we checked with the council prior to even registering for business rates. We told them that we began moving in on 9th and builders had started work which is true but they are now saying that sbrr is not available on a property that is 'empty or being refurbished', even though they have had this information all along.
    Posted: Jun 4, 2020 By: anonuk Member since: Feb 27, 2014
  8. DavidWH

    DavidWH UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    1,651 316
    I wouldn't be repaying anything (yet)

    Tell them to swivel, and take it up with your landlord. As far as you are concerned you had permission to move in, and have not acted fraudulently.

    Your agreement is with your landlord, what ever is going on between the developer and landlord isn't your concern.
    Posted: Jun 4, 2020 By: DavidWH Member since: Feb 15, 2011