Reductions and reliefs

Empty properties

We will not charge you for an empty property for the first 3 months it is empty (6 months for an industrial property). After this period, we will normally charge you 100% of the occupied rate.

We apply the free period to the property, not to the ratepayer. This means that if you become liable to pay business rates on a property which has already been unoccupied for some time, you cannot have a new free period.

If your property falls into one of the following categories, you will receive 100% rate relief whilst it is empty. There is no time limit on this relief. The categories are:

  • listed buildings
  • properties with a rateable value below £2,900
  • properties where the liable person is a personal representative of a deceased person
  • properties subject to a bankruptcy order, winding-up order, or liquidation
  • properties which the owner is prohibited by law from occupying

Newly built properties

The government introduced a new temporary measure for unoccupied new builds from October 2013.

Unoccupied new builds are 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.

How to apply for an exemption or rate relief

Telephone: 0300 300 8011

Please quote your business rates account reference in all correspondence – your account reference is 7 or 8 digits long and starts with a 3, and you can find it on your business rates bill or any letter we’ve sent about your business rates.

We’ll contact you if we need any more information for your application.

Related information

Discretionary rate relief policy (PDF 381.3KB)