Business rates relief for empty properties

Last Updated: 27 August 2021

If a property is empty and unused, no business rates are normally payable for the first three months (six months if the property is classed as industrial).

After this the full rate is payable with no more reduction.

Business rates exemptions for empty properties

Some types of business property are exempt from empty property rates.

An exemption will be applied to your bill when you tell us the property has become empty.

Exemptions include listed buildings, and small properties with rateable values below a certain threshold. These are:

Rateable Value Thresholds
Year Rateable Value (RV) Thresholds
2016 to 2017 £2,600
2017 to 2019 £2,900

After the free period, the empty property will be liable for full rates unless:

  • it is held by a charity and appears likely to be used for charitable purposes
  • it is held by a community amateur sports club and appears to be next used for the purpose of the club
  • the owner is prohibited by law from occupying the property
  • the owner is prohibited by action taken by the crown, or any other local or public authority, from occupying the premises
  • the property is included in the schedule of monuments compiled under s.1 to the ancient monuments and archaeological areas act 1979
  • the owner is entitled to possession only because they are the personal representative of someone who has died

Full rates will also not apply if the liable person:

  • is the subject of a bankruptcy order
  • is a trustee under a deed of arrangement to which the Deeds of Arrangement Act 1914 applies
  • is a company subject to a winding up order made under the insolvency act 1986
  • is entitled to possession of the property in his capacity as liquidator or administrator