Business rates exemptions

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Information for businesses

Most industrial properties that have been empty for more than six months and other commercial properties empty for more than three months are not eligible for any relief on business rates. Once the initial three or six month exemption period has expired, the empty property charge will be 100 per cent of the occupied rates.

There are some types of property that are exempt from the empty property charges:

  • Premises which are 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)
  • 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
  • Listed buildings
  • 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

You will not normally have to apply for these exemptions. However, if you receive an empty property rate account and you think the property should be exempt, contact us using the general enquiry option below and quote your payment reference number.

Submit a General Enquiry

We'll inspect an empty property to confirm that it's empty. If access can't be gained to the property within a reasonable period, we'll withdraw the 50 per cent relief or total exemption and send an account for the full occupied rates.

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.