Empty properties and Business Rates

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Business Rates are not 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 at the full occupied rate. It is important to note that the three or six month rate free period applies to the property only. Therefore, if you buy or rent an empty commercial  property you will be immediately liable for empty rates payable at the full occupied rate if the property had been vacant for more than 3 months for a non industrial property and 6 months if it is industrial.

There are a number of circumstances where a Ratepayer will be exempt from the payment of the empty property rate, they are as follows:  

Properties exempt from empty property rates include:

  • Empty properties with a rateable value of less than £2900
  • Empty properties that a grade 1 or 2 listed buildings
  • Empty properties owned by charities where it would appear that when next in use it will be occupied by a charity
  • Empty properties owned by a registered with the Inland Revenue as a Community Amateur Sports Club
  • Empty properties owned by Companies who are in Liquidation or in Administration
  • An empty property where the occupier would be in breach of the health and safety act 1974 should they attempt to occupy it. In such circumstances the ratepayer would be prohibited by law from occupying the property and no empty rates are payable
  • Personal Representatives of deceased persons are exempt together with insolvency and debt administration entitled to possession only in their respective representative capacities
  • Ancient Monuments that are included in the schedule of monuments compiled under Section 1 to the Ancient Monuments and Archeological Areas Act 1979 are also exempt
  • Partly occupied rate relief - The Council has discretion to reduce a ratepayer's bill if part of their property is unoccupied for a short period of time. The periods will be up to 3 months for non industrial premises (such as shops and offices) and up to 6 months for industrial premises (such as Warehouses and Workshops).

For further details please call our Business Rates Team on 01727 819270/814604.


Date of last review: 08 March 2019