The storage of furniture is, in itself, sufficient to constitute occupation. It is otherwise where the house is absolutely vacant, although a caretaker may live on the premises. Saleable underwood, growing timber, sporting rights, tithes, royalties in respect to mines, etc., are also liable to be rated.
Principle on which Property is Assessed.—Rates are assessed on the net annual value of the property, which is arrived at in the following way: First of all, the "gross value" of the premises is ascertained; the gross value being the rent at which they might reasonably be expected to let, taking one year with another, the tenant paying all usual tenant's rates and taxes, and the landlord paying the tithes, if any, and bearing the cost of the repairs and insurance and the other expenses, if any, necessary to maintain the premises in a state to command that rent. The "rateable value" is then ascertained by deducting from the gross value the value of the tithes, if any, and the probable average cost of the repairs, insurance and other expenses referred to.
Within the Metropolis the maximum amount that can be deducted in respect to such repairs, etc., is fixed according to the following scale:
1. Houses and buildings, or either of them, without land other than gardens, where the gross value is under £20—one quarter of the gross value. 2. Houses and buildings without land other than gardens and pleasure grounds valued therewith for the purpose of inhabited house duty, where the gross value is £20 and under £40—one-fifth; or, where the gross value is £40 or upwards one sixth. 3. Buildings without land, which are not liable to inhabited house duty and are of a gross value of £20 and under £40 one fifth; or, where the gross value is £40 or upwards one-sixth. 4. Land with buildings not houses one-tenth. 5. Land without buildings one twentieth.
The above scale does not apply to houses or buildings let out in separate tenements, nor to tithes or other rateable property not previously mentioned. In such cases the amount to be deducted is to be determined in each instance according to circumstances.
General district rates in urban districts, and rates for special purposes in rural districts. Such rates are made for the purpose of raising the necessary funds with which to pay for improvements under the Public Health Act, and are assessed on the same principle as the poor rate, except that occupiers of land used as arable, meadow or pasture ground only, or as woodlands, orchards, allotments, market gardens or nursery grounds are assessed at one-fourth only of the annual value. Owners of tithes are also entitled to a similar abatement.
Rating of agricultural land.—In respect to any rate made for local purposes and assessed on the yearly value of property, occupiers of agricultural land in England are only liable for one-half of the rate payable on buildings and other property, except in the case of any rate on which they are already entitled to an abatement to the extent of one half, or any rate made in respect to any drainage, wall or embankment, or other work for the benefit of the land.
"Agricultural land" means any land used as arable, meadow or pasture ground only, cottage gardens exceeding one-quarter of an acre, market gardens, nursery grounds, orchards, or allotments; but does not include land occupied together with a house as a park, gardens other than above stated, pleasure grounds, or any land kept or preserved mainly or exclusively for the purposes of sport or recreation.
"Cottage" means a house occupied as a dwelling by a person of the labouring class.
Rating of tithes.—The owner of any tithe rent-charge attached to a benefice
- As for instance, in the case of a general district rate, etc ; see above.