Empty property rates

Information and guidance on empty property rates.

Business rates are not payable for the first three months that a property is continuously unoccupied, or in the case of industrial and warehouse properties six months, after which a 100% charge is applicable.

After the initial three or six month rate free period expires, empty properties will be liable for 100% of the basic occupied business rate unless:

  • it is held by a charity and appears likely to be next 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 £2,900. (less than £2,600 from 1 April 2011 to 31 March 2017, and less than £18,000 in 2010/11)
  • 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 S1 to the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979
  • the owner is entitled to possession only in his capacity as the personal representative of a deceased person
  • the owner is entitled to possession of the property in his capacity as liquidator under S112 or S145 of the Insolvency Act 1986

Removal from the rating list

If your property is in a poor condition and cannot be economically repaired, the valuation officer may judge that it should be taken out of the rating list altogether.

The valuation officer is an officer of HM Revenue and Customs and can be contacted via details from their website.

Keep us informed

Unoccupied properties are inspected on a regular basis.

However you must still contact us to tell us when there is a change of circumstances, for instance if someone has occupied the property or if the property has been sold.