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Business Rates for empty or partly empty properties

Rate reductions for empty or partly empty properties.

After an initial rate free period of 3 months for non-industrial premises and 6 months for industrial premises, most unoccupied properties will attract a 100% charge. However, some properties will be exempt from Business Rates.

Exempt Properties

  • Unoccupied premises with rateable values less than £2,600
  • Empty properties where the owner is entitled to possession only in his capacity as the personal representative of a deceased person
  • Unoccupied properties where occupation is prohibited by law (except for any illegal periods of occupation)
  • Properties left empty by insolvents
  • Empty listed buildings

Change of ownership

A change of ownership will not mean that a new 3 or 6 month rate free period will start.

Occupation for a short period

Premises which have been empty, are occupied for less than six weeks and then become unoccupied again do not attract another 3 or 6 month rate free period. Rates will be charged at the full rate for the period during which the premises were occupied.

Partly occupied properties

Properties which are partly occupied may apply via their local council to the valuation office to have the rateable value apportioned to reflect the occupied and unoccupied areas.

The new values would not be shown in the rating list but the authority would have the discretion to use this information to charge rates at the lower level. The revised rates bill would reflect the full charge for occupied area and either a 100% or zero charge for the unoccupied area.

Telling us about an empty property

Tell us as soon as a property becomes empty, so that an inspection can be made.

Also tell us about any change in occupation or use of the premises, including any structural alterations.

If you want to apply for a reduction for a property which is only partly occupied please contact us.

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