Rating of unoccupied property

You have to pay full business rates on unoccupied property unless it falls into one of the classes of exemption.

Properties exempt from unoccupied property rates are:

  • those empty for less than three months
  • those classed as industrial which have been empty for less than six months
  • those with a rateable value of less than £2,600
  • listed buildings
  • ancient monuments
  • where occupation is prohibited by law
  • property is empty because of action taken by the crown, or a local or public authority, to prohibit occupation or acquire the property
  • where the person entitled to possession is acting as the personal representative/executor of a deceased person
  • where the person entitled to possession is acting as a trustee under a deed of arrangement, or in their capacity as a liquidator
  • where the ratepayer is a company subject to a winding-up order or is in administration
  • where the owner is subject to bankruptcy proceedings

Charities don't pay rates for empty property they own if it appears that it will be for charitable purposes when next used.

Please contact us for more information or to apply for exemption.

Empty new build property

Newly-built property will be exempt from unoccupied rates for up to 18 months, up to state aid limits.

The exemption applies where the property is brought into the rating list between 1 October 2013 and 30 September 2016. The 18 month period includes the initial three or six month exempt period which applies to all empty property. The exemption ends after 18 months or when the property is occupied, whichever is earlier.

Moving into empty property

A 50% discount is available for businesses that moved between 1 April 2014 and 31 March 2016 into premises that had been empty for at least a year. Relief applies to businesses that occupy empty property between 1 April 2014 and 31 March 2016. If granted, relief lasts for 18 months.