Empty properties and business rates

Empty properties are exempt from business rates for certain periods of time. The length of the exemption depends on why the property is empty.

When the exemption ends the full amount of business rates has to be charged again, even if the property is still empty.

If ownership of the property changes whilst it is empty the exemption period does not start again for the new owner. They are only entitled to the remainder of the original exemption.

We will award empty property exemptions using the information you give us when you tell us you have moved in or out of your premises. If you believe that we have not awarded an exemption correctly please contact us.

Business rates exemptions
Type of propertyLength of exemption
All empty business properties3 months
Empty industrial premises -  properties where goods are manufactured or stored such as a factory, warehouse or workshop.6 months
Empty new build properties - to qualify the property must have been completed between 1 October 2013 and 30 September 2016.18 months
Empty properties:
  • with a rateable value under £2,900
  • owned by charities if the property's next use is likely to be wholly or mainly for charitable purposes
  • whose owner is bankrupt or insolvent
  • which are listed buildings
  • where occupation is prohibited by law or by the action of the council
  • where the owner is entitled to possession only in his capacity as the personal representative of a deceased person or the liquidator of a company
Until the property becomes occupied again

Partly occupied properties

If a business property is partly occupied then it is possible to apportion the rateable value between the occupied and unoccupied parts. The empty part of the property can then benefit from one of the exemptions mentioned above.

Contact for Business Rates