Business rates relief on the grounds of hardship
Last Updated: 6 November 2023
Guidelines for determining applications for rate relief on the grounds of hardship
- These guidelines have been revised to assist in considering applications for rate relief on the grounds of hardship.
- The Executive must be satisfied, by examination of the accounts of the business, that the ratepayer is experiencing hardship, this is likely to be of a temporary situation rather than a business than cannot meet its liabilities on a long term basis. The Council will examine the accounts of the applicant, in particular, income trends over a three year period and consider future projections to establish that this is a business which is viable in the long term but is temporarily experiencing hardship.
Third party data may be used to verify the credit rating of businesses.
The Company must be able to show a significant reduction in turnover but can demonstrate that it has made attempts to reduce overheads before having recourse to an application for rate relief.
In short paying the rate liability must cause actual hardship for the business
- It must be reasonable to grant relief after having regard to the interests of persons liable to pay the Council Tax set by the Council. The following are factors that may be considered under this heading:
- The employment prospects in the whole or part of the District would be worsened by the loss of this business
- The business could be the only one of its type in the town or rural community in which it is situated and provide goods or services that are considered essential to the health and wellbeing of residents in that community and the business should be wholly located within the South Lakeland District
- Impact of competition on similar types of business across the locality and district
The above criteria are not exhaustive and should not detract from the Executive’s discretion that should be based on “would a reasonable resident in the District feel it was fair and proper to award rate relief?”.