John Healey has thrown down the gauntlet to the property industry and said it must produce clear evidence of the harm caused by empty rates before there will be any review of the legislation.

The minister for communities and local government, in a private conversation with the British Property Federation said he had instructed the Valuation Office Agency to carry out a review of the effects of empty rates.

However he said that the industry must submit evidence of the effect of empty rates and said that no action to change the legislation would be taken without clear evidence of the effects of the change.

The BPF told Property Week that it was reiterating its call to the property industry to compile documentation and contact Property Week which first began the campaign to halt the hated empty rates tax or contact the BPF hotline at