Empty property exemptions for business rates
The property must be empty of all stock/furnishings in order to be eligible.
Properties that go through periods of inactivity due to the nature of the business (such as, but not exclusive to seasonal restrictions, or warehouses) cannot be awarded empty property rate relief.
Empty properties are exempt for three months commencing the date they are physically emptied of all stock and furnishings (fixtures and fittings are excluded). This extends to six months for industrial properties.
Once the three/six month period has passed a 100% empty rate charge is payable by the person entitled to possession of the property (whether as owner, leaseholder, tenant, etc.). The exemption will not reset upon a change in liable party. If the property was empty prior to the change in liable party and remains empty, it will only qualify for the remainder of the three/six month exemption.
A full list of all exemptions is as follows:
- A property which is unoccupied for a continuous period not exceeding three months.
- A qualifying industrial property which is unoccupied for a continuous period not exceeding six months.
The following exemptions do not have a 3-6 month limit:
- A property where the owner is prohibited by law from occupying it or allowing it to be occupied.
- A property which is kept vacant by reason of action taken by or on behalf of the Crown or any local or public authority with a view to prohibiting the occupation of the property or to acquiring it.
- The property is a listed building within the meaning of the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990 or is included in a list compiled under section 1 of that Act.
- The property is included in the schedule of monuments compiled under section 1 of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Act 1979.
- The rateable value is less than £2,600 from 1 April 2010 to 31 March 2017 or less than £2,900 from 1 April 2017 onwards.
- The owner is entitled to possession only in his capacity as the personal representative of a deceased person.
- Where, in respect to the owner's estate, there subsists 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 which is subject to a winding-up order made under the Insolvency Act 1986or which is being wound up voluntarily under that Act.
- The owner is a company in administration within the meaning of paragraph 1 of schedule B1 of the Insolvency Act 1986 or is subject to an administration order made under the former administration provisions within the meaning or article 3 of the Enterprise Act 2002 (Commencement No.4 and Transitional Provisions and Savings) Order 2003.
- A property whose owner is entitled to possession of the property in his capacity as liquidator by virtue of an order made under section 112 or section 145 of the Insolvency Act 1986.