Certain properties are exempt from business rates.

Exemptions can be based on the type of property or whether a property is in use.

Contact the business rates team to apply for an exemption or a relief. A visit by a member of the team may be required before an exemption can be granted.

Exempted properties

Property types which are exempt include:

  • agricultural land and buildings
  • fish farms
  • open public places such as parks
  • buildings used for disability training or welfare
  • buildings registered for public religious worship or church halls
  • property in enterprise zones

Exempt land and property isn't shown in the Local Rating List and therefore has no liability for business rates.

There are strict legal requirements for these exemptions. If your property is used under such circumstances, you should contact the Valuation Office Agency for further information.

Empty properties

You don't have to pay business rates on empty buildings for 3 months. After this time, most businesses must pay full business rates.

We apply the free period to the property, not to the ratepayer. This means that if you become liable to pay business rates on a property which has already been unoccupied for some time, you cannot have a new free period.

Some properties can get extended empty property relief:

  • industrial premises (for example warehouses) are exempt for a further 3 months
  • listed buildings are exempt until they're reoccupied
  • buildings with a rateable value under £2,900 are exempt until they're reoccupied
  • empty properties owned by charities will remain exempt, as long as the property's next use will be mostly for charitable purposes
  • community amateur sports club (CASC) buildings will remain exempt, as long as the next use will be mostly as a CASC

The following property types will have ongoing exemption, until the status of the property changes:

  • properties where the liable person is a personal representative of a deceased person
  • properties subject to a bankruptcy order, winding-up order, or liquidation
  • properties which the owner is prohibited by law from occupying

See further information about business rates reliefs.

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