The recent riots across England have led to a number of announcements by the government covering ways in which they will be assisting property owners and local authorities affected by the damage and destruction caused by the extensive looting and arson attacks.
- The Riot Damages Act 1886, which allows those who have suffered damage as a result of riots, has been amended with new regulations.
- Property owners will now have 42 days to make their claim, rather than the usual 14 days, and the requirement for the claim to be presented in a specified form has been removed. Those with insurance should contact their insurer in the usual way.
- Importantly, the regulations now allow those without insurance to make a claim for compensation and they can do so through their local police authority.
Mayor of London
- Boris Johnson has pledged a budget of £50 million to be dedicated towards long term improvements to damaged high streets around London.
- The Valuation Office Agency and local authorities have been strongly advised by the Government to remove all seriously damaged properties from their valuation lists as soon as possible. A recovery fund of £10 million is to be made available to help those local authorities that do follow this recommendation and also to property owners whose buildings are now considered uninhabitable.
- Removal from the valuation lists will remove any liability the property owner may have add to pay council tax or business rates which could represent a significant saving.
- Chief planning officers have been contacted by the government and requested to prioritise all planning applications that relate to recovery from the riots.
- They have also been asked to, where possible, make local development orders (LDOs) which make planning consent automatic for the installation of security shutters and for alterations or extensions to shops.
- LDOs apply within a defined area and allow planning consent to be considered as granted for a specific development or classes of development, in this case security and shop works.
Relief from business rates
- Local authorities have the power to grant relief from business rates. If they chose to do so in light of the riots they will be assisted by a £20 million government high street support scheme.
- The scheme will mean that the local authority only pays one quarter of the costs incurred in granting relief with central government picking up the remaining three quarters