Exemptions and reliefs for business rates

Unoccupied property rating

Business rates will not be payable in the first three months that a property is empty. This is extended to six months in the case of certain industrial properties. After this period, rates are payable in full unless the unoccupied property rate has been reduced by the government by order. In most cases, the unoccupied property rate is zero for properties owned by charities and community amateur sports clubs. In addition, there are a number of exemptions from the empty property rate. If the unoccupied property rate for the financial year has been reduced by order, it will be shown on the front of your bill. From 01 April 2017, unoccupied premises with a rateable value of under £2,900 are also exempt from payment of empty property rates. Prior to 01 April 2017, the level was £2,600.

Partly occupied property relief (Section 44A relief)

A ratepayer is liable for payment of the full non-domestic rate whether a property is wholly occupied or only partly occupied. Where a property is partly occupied for a short time only, the local authority has discretion to award relief in respect of the unoccupied part. Where a property is party occupied on a long term basis, a proposal should be made to the Valuation Office Agency to request a division in the rating list, separating the occupied and unoccupied areas./p>

To make an application for partly occupied relief (Section 44A relief), please supply to the council, by email us if possible, confirmation of the period(s) of time that the area is vacant, a plan showing the dimensions of the unoccupied and occupied areas and your contact information to arrange an inspection of the property. Upon receipt of this information and subject to acceptance and confirmation of the application, a request can be made of the Valuation Office Agency to certify the unoccupied area. Empty exemptions and//or reliefs can then be applied to the vacant area.

Please note that any exemption or relief is only awarded to the end of the financial year and a new application is required should the circumstances continue into a new financial year. Should the occupied/unoccupied areas change, a new application is also required. The relief is ended on the 31 March each year or when the council is informed that the unoccupied area is occupied.