Hardship relief

We have discretionary powers to grant rate relief to a ratepayer experiencing particular financial hardship. A quarter of the cost of any hardship relief falls directly on local council tax payers, therefore, we must ensure that to grant hardship relief benefits the wider community as well as the ratepayer concerned.

Applications for hardship relief can only be considered in exceptional circumstances.

Criteria and conditions

Section 49 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 gives a billing authority discretionary power to reduce or remit the amount of business rates payable on a property provided that it is satisfied that:

  • the ratepayer would sustain hardship if the council did not do so; and
  • it is reasonable for the council to do so, having regard to the interests of persons subject to its council tax.

How to apply

As each case is considered on its own merits, you must make a written request supported by current trading figures as well as copies of the last two years audited accounts or accounts accepted by the Inland Revenue.

When accessing your application we will also consider the effects that the loss of your business would have on the local area.

You must continue to pay your business rates whilst the application is being considered and any overpayments will be refunded as necessary.

Please contact us if you think you may qualify. 

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