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Empty and unoccupied properties

Generally there are no business rates to pay for the first three months a property is empty and unoccupied.  After that, the full rate is payable.

Industrial buildings are exempt for a period of six months.

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

Year Rateable Value (RV) Thresholds
2016/17 £2,600
2017/18 £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 rateable value of the property is less than £2,600
  • 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 owner:

  • 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