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.
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 (VOA) for further information.
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.
At Autumn Budget 2021, the government announced new measures to support green investment and the decarbonisation of buildings, to apply from April 2023.
The first measure was an exemption for eligible plant and machinery used in onsite renewable energy generation and storage, such as;
- rooftop solar panels
- wind turbines
- battery storage
- electric vehicle storage points
The green plant and machinery exemption will take effect once the regulations have come into force, which will be as soon as possible after 1 April 2022. The VOA will work to implement this exemption over the coming months, and it'll be backdated to the date the regulations came into force.
At the Spring Statement on 23 March, the Chancellor announced that the Government would bring forward this investment in energy efficiency and clean heat to support the security of energy supply. This measure will therefore come into effect one year earlier than previously planned and be implemented from April 2022.
Once official reports are received from the VOA confirming changes to relevant accounts, our records will be updated.
Find out more about the Low-carbon Heat Relief