Empty property reductions

For the first 3 months that a property is empty, no business rates will be payable. If a property is still empty at the end of the 3 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 3 months' empty period the new owner or tenant is not entitled to a further 3 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:

  • industrial property. 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

Appealing against a decision

The changes in rates liability resulting from the reforms to empty property relief are not in themselves grounds for appeal. However, if you disagree with the rateable value that appears in the current rating list entry for your property, under the existing arrangements you may challenge it by making a 'proposal’ against it to your local Valuation Office.

Your rights of appeal are not affected by the reforms to empty property relief. You can get in touch with us or the Valuation Office for further information about the arrangements for making proposals.

Please be aware that business rates remain payable while waiting for the outcome of any appeal.