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Empty or part empty property rate relief

Empty or partly empty properties may be eligible for exemption or discounts on business rates. 

When a premises becomes empty it will have 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 new rate-free period will not start if the property changes ownership. 

Occupation for a short period

If an empty property becomes occupied for less than 26 weeks and then becomes unoccupied again it will not start a new 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 

Properties are exempt from paying business rates if they are:

  • unoccupied with rateable values less than £2,600
  • empty and where the owner is entitled to possession only in his capacity as the personal representative of a deceased person
  • unoccupied and where occupation is prohibited by law (except for any illegal periods of occupation)
  • 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. 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 the occupied area
  • either a 100% or zero charge for the unoccupied area

More information

For more information contact us