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Empty property rates

Empty property rates are payable on most commercial properties by the 'person entitled to possession'. This is usually  the leaseholder or tenant if there is one, or the freeholder if not

For the first 3 months a property is empty no rates are payable. This period is extended to 6 months for property classed as industrial including factories, warehouses and workshops.

Thereafter empty rates are charged are 100% of the occupied rate  unless one of the exemptions below applies

■Those where the rateable value is less than:
£2,200 from 1st April 2005 to 31st March 2009
£15,000 from 1st April 2009 to 31st March 2010
£18,000 from 1st April 2010 to 31st March 2011
£2,600 from1st April 2011.

■Properties where occupation is prohibited by law.
■Properties empty due to action taken by the crown or by any public or local authority, either to prevent occupation or to acquire the property e.g. a compulsory purchase order has been made.
■Listed buildings or those subject to a preservation order.
■Properties where the person liable would be so only in his/her capacity as a personal representative of a deceased person, a liquidator or a trustee under a deed of arrangement, properties where the person entitled to possession is the subject of insolvency proceedings, the owner is a company in administration.


If you believe  that your property qualifies for an empty rates exemption, please contact us with full details of your property and the date it became empty on the e-mail link above.

Frequently asked questions

Why is my rateable value higher than my rent?

The current rateable value is intended to be an estimate of the annual rent that a property would have received at 1st April 2008.If rents have fallen since then because of the economic situation the rateable value will not necessarily be reduced as well. The next revaluation, effective from 1st April 2015, will be based on the rent passing as at 1st April 2013, so any reduction in rents will be reflected then. Further information on how the rateable value has been calculated is available on the Valuation Office website.

Valuation Office Agency website

I have moved out of my business property - will I still have rates to pay?

From 1st April 2008 the legislation changed relating to unoccupied business premises. For the first 3 months there will be no rates payable (the first 6 month for industrial properties) but, if the property remains vacant after this period and you are still the owner or leaseholder, you will then be liable for rates. Rates are chargeable on all empty unoccupied property, unless the property is classed as exempt. Information on the properties classed as exempt can be found on our empty property rates page