Once a property becomes empty, the first three months are exempt from rating (six months in the case of an empty industrial property). Thereafter, the full 100% rates are payable. A further three month (six month) exemption will not become applicable until the property has become occupied for a minimum period, even if there is a change in liable party.
Some properties can get extended empty property relief:
- listed buildings - until they are reoccupied
- buildings with a rateable value under £2,600 - until they are reoccupied
- properties owned by charities (only if the property’s next use will be mostly for charitable purposes)
- properties owned by community amateur sports clubs (only if the next use will be mostly as a sports club)
- those where occupation is prohibited by law
- those where the owner is a representative of a deceased person.
If you would like to apply for an empty exemption please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org providing the date that the property first become empty.
Partly occupied properties (section 44a relief)
A ratepayer is liable for the full non-domestic rate whether the property is fully or only partly used. Where a property is partly occupied for a short time, in certain circumstances, we can apply to the Valuation Office Agency to award a temporary reduction for the part that is not in use.
If you feel that you may be entitled to Section 44(a) relief, please provide a detailed written explanation of why you are requesting the relief. We also request that you provide a plan of the whole assessment, clearly indicating the unoccupied areas and the measurement of this area in metres squared. Please e-mail your application to email@example.com.
When the information has been received, we will arrange for a council inspector to visit your premises to determine if you would qualify for Section 44(a) relief.
If you are entitled to the relief, a letter will be sent to the Valuation Office requesting Section 44(a) relief be awarded on the property. The Valuation Office will then send us a separate rateable value for both the occupied and unoccupied areas of the property, which will enable us to calculate your relief entitlement. Once your relief has been calculated, a revised bill will be issued showing your entitlement.
Please note whilst your application is being processed, your current rates are due and payable.
Non-Domestic properties undergoing major work
If your non-domestic property is undergoing a major refurbishment or is being converted into a domestic property you can make an application to the Valuation Office Agency to have the property taken out of the rating list. For further information please visit the Valuation Office Agency Website.