North Somerset v Honda is a case where a rate payer resisted a claim by a local authority for payment of rates after the rating years in question had passed. In this instance the authority served a demand in November 2008 for payment of business rates for the period 2002 to 2007. The regulations provide an authority should serve a notice “on or as soon as practicable after 1 April in the relevant year”. The authority conceded its failure to serve the notices at the correct time was owing to its administrative error. The rate payer argued the authority could not now claim payment of the rates. It did so on two grounds: first the regulations did not permit late service of a rate demand; alternatively if late service was possible, an authority could not recover the rates where the payer would suffer hardship or prejudice as a result of the delay. The court decided an authority should not automatically be barred from recovering rates if late in serving a demand. However, there might be instances of a lengthy delay which would prevent recovery (“the first bar”). A rate payer faced with a late demand could claim that it would suffer substantial prejudice as result of the late demand (“the second bar”). The authority would be unable to recover the rates if either the first or the second bar applied though in some instances both might apply.