Some types of property are exempt from business rates. This means that no business rates are charged on them.

Exempt properties include:

  • agricultural land and buildings
  • fish farms
  • some churches and other places of worship
  • sewers
  • public parks
  • certain properties used for Disabled people
  • swinging moorings for boats.

and unoccupied properties which are:

  • listed buildings
  • properties with a rateable value less than £2,899 (from 1 April 2017)
  • kept empty due to action by a local authority or court
  • estate of a deceased person
  • land not being used
  • warehouses / industrial (exempt for up to six months only)
  • prohibited by law from being occupied
  • subject to bankruptcy, companies being wound up
  • owned by companies in administration
  • owned by charities or registered community amateur sports clubs, if it is intended that when next in use it will be for charitable purposes.

Empty-property rating

In general, you do not have to pay business rates for the first three months (six months for industrial or warehouse property) if your property is empty. After that, you pay the full amount.

We cannot extend the three-month period, but if you believe your property is still not fit to be used you should make an appeal to the Valuation Office Agency to have it taken off the rating list.

Empty relief will not be granted until our property inspector has confirmed the premises are empty. We will not consider retrospective applications unless you provide evidence which satisfies us that the property was empty.

Ways to contact us about business rates.

Partly occupied property relief

A ratepayer is liable for the full non-domestic rate whether a property is wholly occupied or only partly occupied. Where a property is partly occupied for a short time, the local authority has discretion in certain cases to award relief for the unoccupied part. We will not consider backdated requests.