Empty property reductions

1. Overview

For the first three months that a property is empty, no business rates will be payable. If a property is still empty at the end of the three month period, then business rates will be charged at 100% of the amount due had the property been occupied.

If a property is sold during the first three months' empty period the new owner or tenant is not entitled to a further three months rate free period.

In addition to the above, there are certain types of property that may be entitled to a further 100% relief for 3 months after the initial 3 month period has lapsed. They are:

  • Industrial property - broadly speaking this means a property, which is other than retail, that is built or adapted for one of the following purposes: manufacturing, repairing or adapting goods or materials, storing, working or processing materials, generating electricity

Properties exempt from any empty property rates charge include:

  • property with a rateable value of less than £2,600 from 1 April 2011, changing to a rateable value of less than £2,900 from 1 April 2017
  • property where the owner, that is the person whom is entitled to possess it, is prevented by law from occupying it
  • property which is empty because of action taken by, or on behalf of, the Crown or any local or public authority with a view to forbidding occupation or to buying it
  • property that is a nationally listed building - placed under a building preservation notice with the meaning of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation areas) Act 1990(a), or is included in a list compiled under Section 1 of the Act
  • property where the owner is entitled to possession only because he or she is the personal representative of a person who has died
  • property where there is a bankruptcy
  • property where the owner is entitled to possession of the property as a trustee under a deed of arrangement
  • property, which is owned by a company which, is placed under a winding up order or is being wound up voluntarily
  • property where the owner is entitled to possession as a liquidator