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Empty Property Relief

In general there will be no Business Rates to pay in the first three months that a property is empty.

This is extended to six months in the case of certain industrial properties. After that, rates are payable in full unless the property is exempt from the unoccupied rates. Exemptions include listed buildings, and small properties with rateable values below a certain threshold.

The threshold is currently: £2600

Are there any exemptions to this charge?

After the initial three or six month free period expires the empty property will be liable for 100% of the basic occupied business rate unless:

  • It is held by a charity and appears likely to be next used for charitable purposes.
  • It is held by a community amateur sports club and appears to be next used for the purpose of the club.
  • The rateable value of the property is less than £2,600 (with effect from 1st April 2011)
  • The owner is prohibited by law from occupying the property.
  • The owner is prohibited by action taken by the crown, or any other local or public authority from occupying the premises.
  • The property is included in the schedule of monuments compiled under s.1 to the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.
  • The owner is entitled to possession only in his capacity as the personal representative of a deceased person.

If the following insolvency of debt administration situation exists:

  • A bankruptcy order within parts 8 to 11 of the Insolvency Act 1986
  • The owner is a trustee under a deed of arrangement to which the deeds of arrangement act 1914 applies.
  • The owner is a company subject to a winding up order made under the insolvency act 1986.
  • The owner is entitled to possession of the property in his capacity as liquidator or administrator under s112 or s145 of the Insolvency Act 1986.

New Build Empty Property Exemption

The Government has introduced a new temporary measure for unoccupied new builds from October 2013. Unoccupied new builds will be exempt from unoccupied property rates for up to 18 months (up to state aid limits) where the property comes on to the list between 1 October 2013 and 30 September 2016. The 18 month period includes the initial 3 or 6 month exemption and so properties may, if unoccupied, be exempt from non-domestic rates for up to an extra 15 or 12 months.

The property does not have to be continuously unoccupied to qualify as separate empty periods will be allowed for the first 18 months provided that the property was initially empty when first entered into the rating list.

If you feel you may be entitled to this relief, please complete and return the new build empty property exemption form.

Last modified: 04 June 2014