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Empty or partly empty property rate relief

Properties that are empty or partly empty may be eligible for exemption or discounts on business rates.

When a premises becomes empty it will have after an initial rate-free period of:

  • 3 months for non-industrial premises
  • 6 months for industrial premises

After this, most unoccupied properties will attract a 100% charge.

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 26 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.

Empty properties exempt from paying business rates

  • 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

Reduced rate for partly-occupied properties

Properties which are partly occupied may apply via us 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 we 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. Contact us for more information.

Tell 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.