Prior to the changes introduced by the Thatcher administration in the 1980s, all properties in the UK were rated – domestic or otherwise. However, the abolition of rates by the repeal of the General Rate Act 1967 and the introduction of the community charge by the Local Government Finance Act 1988 required a new non-domestic rating system in England and Wales. Whilst the community charge was quickly abolished and replaced by the council tax this did not dispense with the non-domestic rating system and so the need to distinguish between domestic and non-domestic property continued.

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