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Empty Properties

Most properties are exempt from business rates for the first three months after they become vacant – or in the case of certain industrial properties such as factories or workshops, for the first six months.
The exemption starts from the date the property first becomes empty. If you buy or lease a property that is already unoccupied, this exemption does not start again. After this initial period of exemption, full rates are payable.  

Empty properties are fully exempt from rates if:    

  • The rateable value is below the threshold of £2,900 for 2018/19, older financial years have different thresholds 
  • Occupation is prohibited by law    
  • It is a grade I or Grade II listed building    
  • It was last used by a charity and is likely to be used by a charity again  
  • The owner is acting in their capacity as a personal representative of a deceased person, or a liquidator or an insolvency practitioner

Partly Occupied Property

Generally the full rates are due but if your property is partly occupied for a short period of time, we have the discretion to request that the Valuation Officer apportions the property’s rateable value between its occupied and unoccupied parts. The empty property rate is then applied to the unoccupied part.

Can I get my property taken out of the rating list altogether?

If your property is not capable of occupation - for instance, if it is in poor condition and cannot be economically repaired - the Valuation Officer may decide to take it out of the rating list altogether or to reduce the rateable value to zero.

The rules for empty property rates are complex and have changed a lot over the years; therefore it is important to read this information as an outline only. Please contact us if you think you are entitled to an exemption or partly occupied relief.

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