Empty and partly occupied Properties
Most properties do not pay business rates for the first three months they are empty. This is increased to six months in the case of an empty industrial property or warehouse. After this period, the full amount will be charged.
There are certain types of empty property where no rates are payable, even after the three month period expires. Examples include
- properties with a rateable value under £2,600
- certain listed buildings and ancient monuments
- properties owned by charities or community amateur sports clubs
- properties formerly occupied by companies in administration or a bankrupt person
- those where the owner is the personal representative of a deceased person
- those where occupation is prohibited by law
Newly built empty business property
Newly built empty business property completed between 1 October 2013 and 30 September 2016 could be eligible for exemption from empty property rates for the first 18 months, up to state aid limits. Properties that will benefit from the relief will be all unoccupied non-domestic properties that are wholly or mainly (more than half) comprised of new structures completed within this timeframe. See more information and examples.
Partly occupied properties
In most circumstances the full business rates charge is payable on properties that are only partially occupied.
However, there are exceptional circumstances when we can reduce the amount payable, by way of a temporary reduction in Rateable Value. This is done in partnership with the Valuation Office and is commonly known as a Section 44A agreement.
Such exceptional circumstances include properties where occupation of the whole property is not possible due to a fire or flooding or in the instance of the winding down of a business.