Empty Property Rates

Since 1 April 2008 most empty properties only qualify for relief from rates for a fixed period.  At the end of the rate free period a full charge will be made.   

The table below sets out the criteria and length of empty rates period.

Type of propertyEmpty rates payable
Commercial property (eg. shop, office)No charge for up to three months, then 100 per cent of charge is due.
Industrial premises (eg. warehouse, factory)No charge for up to six months, then 100 per cent of the charge is due
Properties with a rateable value of less than £2,900No charge while empty
Properties held by a charity or community amateur sports club (rateable value more than £2,600)No charge while empty
Companies held in administrationNo charge while empty
Listed buildingNo charge while empty

Frequently asked questions

Can I get my property taken out of rating?

If your property is not capable of beneficial occupation - for instance, if it is in poor condition and cannot be economically repaired - you can ask the Valuation Office Agency if they will take it out of rating.

How will my rates liability be affected if my property is only partly occupied?

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 Council has discretion in certain cases to award relief in respect of the unoccupied part. Full details can be obtained from the business rate section on 01992 785504.

Can I appeal against the changes in my rates liability?

The changes in rates liability arising from the changes in legislation are not in themselves grounds for appeal.  However if you disagree with the rateable value of the property you may challenge it by making a proposal against it to the Valuation Office.

If my property is empty how do I apply for an exemption?

You must contact us immediately, so that an inspection can be made of the premises to confirm entitlement to an exemption.