Unoccupied Property Rating

Unoccupied properties are exempt from empty property rates for at least 3 months.

This is extended to six months in the case of certain industrial properties. After this period, rates are payable in full unless the unoccupied property rate has been reduced by the Government by order. In most cases, the unoccupied property rate is zero for properties owned by charities and Community Amateur Sports Clubs.

In addition, there are a number of further exemptions from the unoccupied property rate, including Listed Buildings, properties where the ratepayer is either Bankrupt or Liquidated and properties with a Rateable Value below a prescribed amount. 

With effect from 1 April 2017, unoccupied properties with a rateable value below £2,900 will receive the 100% exemption.  There are also other exceptions from empty property rates, some of which are as follows:

  • No Business Rates are payable on empty property for three months after the property becomes vacant.

  • Industrial premises, such as warehouses, are exempt for a further three months ie 6 months in total.

  • Listed buildings are exempt until they become occupied again.

  • Properties owned by charities are exempt if the property's next use is likely to be wholly or mainly for charitable purposes.

  • Community amateur sports club buildings are exempt if their next use is likely to be wholly or mainly for a sports club.

If the unoccupied property rate for the financial year has been reduced by order, it will be shown on the front of your bill.

Renewing Empty Property Relief

The property will show on our records as empty until you tell us otherwise. This means you don't need to reapply for any exemptions. 

Changes In Circumstance For Empty Property Relief

You must contact the Business Rates team to tell us when a property stops being empty or an exemption no longer applies. Even if you are not getting any empty property exemption, it is important that our records are up-to-date so you pay the right amount. Your bill might be lower when the property is occupied than when it isn't.  You can do this using our online form.

We do check up regularly on empty properties claiming reliefs and exemptions and sometimes we visit to check.

If we find you are claiming empty property relief for a property that is no longer empty, we will send you a backdated bill for the full amount of rates due. You'll need to pay within 14 days.