The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH) have partnered to gather evidence from property professionals about the impact of empty rates tax.

In reaction to the property industry’s criticisms of the rates charges to empty property, they have launched a survey to find out the tax is affecting businesses.

Information obtained from the questionnaire, which asks about the impact on businesses, regeneration schemes, and regions, will be published in an RICS and LSH report later this year.

RICS Policy Officer Nadia Nath-Varma said: ‘Many of our members have given us their views on Empty Property Rates and we think it is essential to gather the facts from those who own, manage and occupy commercial property to help inform future decisions in this area.

'We are looking to understand both the short term impact and potential long-term effect this tax regime is having on the sector, especially at this very difficult time for the property market.’

Lambert Smith Hampton’s national Rating Director, Richard Wackett, said:

‘The change in empty rate liability has had unexpected and sometimes profound effects on property. We believe that the Government should assess the impact of this legislation and our aim is to assist with hard facts.’

The questionnaire is be open for anyone and will be available online until Friday 20 February 2009 at: