The WTA recently requested clarity (extract below) with regard to the calculation of the 70 Day rule period for 2020/21, the Welsh Government response is below:
'...could you clarify whether there is a legal mandate that states that the timeframe is specifically the Calendar year 2020 within which assessment of the 70 day rule has to made....as it appears this may not be the case and that it is up to the individual business as to the twelve month period that they wish to choose. i.e. it does not legally have to be the calendar year and could therefore be from the 1st April 2020 to 31st March 2021 or indeed the 1st July 2020 to the 31st June 2021.
Welsh Government Local Taxation Policy Wales...
'Aside from ensuring a full 12-month period is considered when counting days, I should also clarify that local lockdowns did not legally prevent operators from making their properties available to let. There would, of course, have been constraints on individuals travelling from outside the local authority, so this distinction is more relevant to operators’ ability to achieve 140 days available rather than 70 days actually let.
The criteria apply on a continuous basis and the period should be thought of as a rolling 12 months, rather than a fixed period which is reset once annually on the same date. If compliance with the criteria is found to have lapsed, the VOA will seek to identify the specific date on which the criteria ceased to be met over the preceding 12 months. If compliance is subsequently achieved again, then the VOA will seek to identify the relevant date from which a property should be relisted for non-domestic rates'.