Empty or partly occupied properties

Empty properties

You don’t have to pay business rates on empty industrial properties for the first 6 months that they are empty.  For other types of empty properties, the rate free period is 3 months.  After this time, most ratepayers must pay full business rates.

Some unoccupied premises qualify for extended empty property relief, known as an exemption:

  • premises with a rateable value under £2,600
  • owner is prohibited by law from occupying the property or allowing it to be occupied
  • premises kept vacant because of action taken by or on behalf of the Crown or any local or public authority with a view to prohibiting occupation or to acquiring the property
  • owner's estate is subject to a bankruptcy order
  • owner entitled to possession of the property only in his capacity as the personal representative of a deceased person or as trustee under the Deed of Arrangement Act 1914
  • owner is a company in administration, or is subject to an administration order, or is subject to a winding-up order, or is being wound up voluntarily
  • owner is entitled to possession of the property in his capacity as liquidator
  • premises owned by charities - only if the property’s next use will be wholly or mainly for charitable purposes
  • community amateur sports clubs premises - only if the next use will be wholly or mainly as a sports club
  • listed buildings and ancient monuments as defined in the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979
  • Unoccupied new builds – this is a temporary measure from 1 October 2013 to 30 September 2016. Subject to certain criteria, unoccupied new business premises may be exempt from unoccupied property rates for up to 18 months (up to State Aid limits). Visit the New developments rate relief scheme webpage for details.

Partly occupied properties

Where a property is partly occupied for a short time, we have discretionary powers in certain cases to award relief in respect of the unoccupied part of the premises.

Partly occupied relief will require a site visit by one of our Inspector/Visiting Officers and a special certificate from the Valuation Office Agency. You will need email us with details and provide a scaled site plan of the premises.

Please apply promptly as the local authority/Valuation Office Agency can only substantiate your claim whilst the part occupation is occurring. In certain circumstances, the unoccupied part will still be subject to an empty property rate charge.

Please contact us for further details.

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