Empty Commercial Properties
When will Business Rates not be payable?
Business rates will not be payable in the first three months that a commercial property is empty. This is extended to six months in the case of certain industrial properties. After this period rates are payable in full unless the empty property rate has been reduced by the Government by order.
In most cases, the empty property rate is zero for properties owned by charities and Community Amateur Sports Clubs. In addition, there are a number of exemptions from the empty property rate as below:
- has been empty for a continuous period not exceeding three months;
- which is a qualifying industrial hereditament that has been unoccupied for a continuous period not exceeding six months;
- the ratepayer is a charity or trustees for a charity, and it appears that when next in use the hereditament will be wholly or mainly used for charitable purposes (whether of that charity or of that and other charities).
- the ratepayer is a registered club for the purposes of Schedule 18 to the Finance Act 2002 (community amateur sports clubs), and it appears that when the hereditament is next in use it will be wholly or mainly used for the purposes of that club and that club will be such a registered club, or it will be wholly or mainly used for the purposes of two or more clubs including that club, and each of those clubs will be such a registered club.
- whose owner is prohibited by law from occupying it or allowing it to be occupied;
- 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 hereditament or to acquiring it;
- which 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;
- which is included in the Schedule of monuments compiled under section 1 of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979;
- whose rateable value is less than £2,900;
- whose owner is entitled to possession only in his capacity as the personal representative of a deceased person;
- whose owner is entitled to possession of the hereditament in his capacity as trustee under a deed of arrangement to which the Deeds of Arrangement Act 1914 applies;
- whose owner is a company which is subject to a winding-up order made under the Insolvency Act 1986 or which is being wound up voluntarily under that Act;
- whose owner is a company in administration within the meaning of paragraph 1 of Schedule B1 to the Insolvency Act 1986 or is subject to an administration order made under the former administration provisions within the meaning of article 3 of the Enterprise Act 2002 (Commencement No. 4 and Transitional Provisions and Savings) Order 2003;
- whose owner is entitled to possession of the hereditament in his capacity as liquidator by virtue of an order made under section 112 or section 145 of the Insolvency Act 1986.
If the unoccupied property rate for the financial year has been reduced by order, it will be shown on the front of your bill.
Partly occupied property relief
Business rates are payable for the full non-domestic rate whether a property is wholly or partly occupied. If a property is partly occupied for a short time, we have discretion, in certain cases, to award relief in respect of the unoccupied part.
Contact us for further details.
Business Rates Section