1. Why is it necessary to ascertain the primary use, for example “domestic” or “non-domestic”, of a property?
A tenancy document usually contains a clause which specifies that the property is only to be used for domestic or non-domestic purposes. If a landlord believes that a tenant is in breach of this clause, such as running a shop in a residential property, the landlord must obtain proof of such a breach before proceeding with further action.
Where a question or dispute arises about whether a property is used for domestic or non-domestic purposes, one may ask the Rating and Valuation Department to issue a Certificate of Primary User of Premises for verification. If the dispute has been brought up to the Court, then you should submit Form TR4 to apply for the Certificate. If the dispute has not yet been brought up to the Court, then you should submit Form TR4D and pay the application fee of $3,850. Although the Certificate does not provide a conclusive answer to the issue, it will be persuasive when the issue is brought to Court.
For more details regarding the Certificate, please contact the Rating and Valuation Department at 21520111 or 21508229.