Skip to main content

Business rates exemptions

Empty properties

Empty properties are exempt from business rates for 3 months. Industrial buildings for 6 months.

When the initial 3 or 6 month exemption period has ended, the empty property charge will be 100% of the occupied rates.

Some types of property are exempt from the empty property charges:

  • premises owned or leased by a registered charity or a community
  • amateur sports clubs will be exempt from the empty property charge and will have a zero rating
  • listed buildings
  • an empty property that has a rateable value of under £2,900
  • occupation is prohibited by law
  • the ratepayer is bankrupt or in liquidation (this will be up to the date the property is sold or the lease is disclaimed by the Official Receiver or Insolvency Practitioner)
  • the ratepayer is only entitled to occupy as the executor of a deceased person
  • non-industrial premises which currently qualify for exemption from rates under the national non-domestic rates (NNDR) (unoccupied property) regulations will continue to be exempt from the empty property charge

You will not normally have to apply for these exemptions.

If you receive an empty property rate account, tell us if you think the property should be exempt.

We will inspect an empty property to confirm that it's empty.

If access cannot be gained to the property within a reasonable period, we will withdraw the 50% relief or total exemption and send an account for the full occupied rates.

Exempted buildings

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

Exempt properties include:

  • agricultural land and buildings
  • fish farms
  • churches and other places of worship
  • sewers
  • public parks
  • certain property used for disabled people
  • swinging moorings for boats

Rating Advisers

Ratepayers do not have to be represented in discussions about their rateable value or their rates bill. Appeals against rateable values can be made free of charge.

However, ratepayers who do wish to be represented should be aware that members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Institute of Revenues, Rating and Valuation (IRRV) are qualified and are regulated by rules of professional conduct designed to protect the public from misconduct.

Before you employ a rating adviser, you should check that they have the necessary knowledge and expertise, as well as appropriate indemnity insurance. Take great care and, if necessary, seek further advice before entering into any contract.