Reduce your business rates

Unoccupied property rating

Business rates will not be payable in the first 3 months that a property is empty. This is extended to 6 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 exemptions from the unoccupied property rate.

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

How to apply

Please tell us about an outgoing occupier.

What happens after the rate-free period?

After the first 3 or 6 month rate-free period, the basic occupied business rate charge applies to an empty property unless:

  • the rateable value of the property is less than £2,900
  • the owner is prohibited by law from occupying the property or allowing it to be occupied
  • the property is kept vacant because of action taken by or on behalf of the Crown, or any other local or public authority, to prohibit occupation of the premises or acquisition of them
  • the property is included in the schedule of monuments compiled under section 1 to the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979
  • the property is the subject of a building preservation notice within the meaning of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 or is included in a list compiled under section 1 of that Act
  • the owner is entitled to possession only in his capacity as the personal representative of a deceased person
  • one of the following insolvency or debt administration situations exists:
    • a bankruptcy order within the meaning of section 381 (2) of the Insolvency Act 1986
    • the owner is entitled to possession of the property in his capacity as trustee under a deed of arrangement to which the Deeds of Arrangement Act 1914 applies
    • the owner is a company subject to a winding-up order made under the Insolvency Act 1986 or which is being wound up voluntarily under that Act
    • the owner is entitled to possession of the property in his capacity as liquidator under s112 or s145 of the Insolvency Act 1986
    • the owner is a company in administration under the Insolvency Act 1986 or is subject to an administration order

Please email if your business is exempt.