Business rates - who has to pay?

The occupier of a non-domestic property normally pays the business rates. Usually this is the owner-occupier or leaseholder. If a property is empty, the owner or leaseholder will be liable - see exemptions.

What is a non-domestic property?

Non-domestic properties are business properties such as shops, offices, warehouses and factories, and any other property that is not classed as domestic. In some cases property can be used for both domestic and non-domestic use (for example, a shop with a flat above it), in which case we will charge council tax and business rates. These properties are called ‘composite properties’ and appear on both the council tax and rating lists for the borough.

What if I offer bed and breakfast accommodation or hire out a holiday home?

If you offer bed and breakfast accommodation in your own home to six people or less, you will not have to pay business rates as long as you also live in the property. You will have to pay council tax for the whole property.

If you hire out your holiday home for more than 140 days a year, or you provide bed and breakfast for more than six people at any one time, you will have to pay business rates on that part of the property. You will still have to pay council tax on the part of your property you use as your home.

Find out about business rates reductions and exemptions for some properties.