“inspection revealed that the premises are now being used as an office.”

Ian Paisley Snr and Jnr’s new constituency office [still?] doesn’t have permission to be used as an office, and in today’s Belfast Telegraph Chris Thornton reveals that Ian Paisley Snr’s Belfast constituency office had, for several years, been assessed for rates as a private dwelling house despite being used as a constituency office. From the Belfast Telegraph

The Ravenhill Road property was recently inspected by officials from Land and Property Services after a query from the Belfast Telegraph about the building’s status. The agency’s website has listed the office as a house for several years. As a result of the inspection, the building was reclassified from a home to an office . Since then it has been described by the DUP as Mr Paisley’s North Antrim advice centre. Mr Paisley represents the constituency as both an MP and MLA, but lives in Belfast near the Ravenhill Road building. The office has also been used in the past by Ian Paisley junior.

How’s that brand doing again?
Also in the report, the statement from the Department of Finance and Personnel..

In a statement, the Department of Finance and Personnel, which has overall responsibility for rates, said: “The property at 256 Ravenhill Road, Belfast had been entered in the valuation list as a private dwelling house. Land & Property Services had no record of information to indicate that this property was used other than wholly for this purpose. Its external appearance is that of a dwelling house and there is no external identification that would indicate that it is used as an office. The property has now been inspected internally by the District Valuer’s staff. This inspection revealed that the premises are now being used as an office.

“The District Valuer, therefore, issued a Certificate of Valuation on 23 April 2008 removing the property from the domestic valuation list and entering the premises into the non-domestic valuation list. In line with normal process in such matters, Land & Property Services (revenue collection) will be writing to the occupier to ascertain the effective date of the change from domestic to non-domestic status.”

A spokesman confirmed that the occupier is liable for rates from that “effective date of change”.

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