In England and Wales, 100% business rates are due on commercial properties that have been empty for three months or more, or six months in the case of industrial and warehouse properties. The threshold at which empty property currently becomes liable for business rates is £2,900. In England the large multiplier is applicable to all empty premises with an RV over £2,900
Qualifying unoccupied newly built properties are exempt from empty rates for up to 18 months (up to EU state aid ‘de minimis’ limits) where the property came into the rating list between 1 October 2013 and 30 September 2016. Applications must be submitted to the relevant local authority before 30 September 2017.
In Scotland, 50% business rates are due on commercial properties (e.g. shops, offices) for the first three months they are empty. Thereafter a 10% reduction applies. Vacant warehouses and industrial premises are exempt from charge for the first six months and thereafter 10% relief applies. Properties with a RV under £1,700 will continue to receive a full exemption whilst empty.
The ‘New Start’ initiative has introduced a temporary relief for unoccupied newly built properties. An exemption will apply for up to 18 months where the property is entered onto the valuation roll between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2016.
In Northern Ireland rates are not payable for three months from either the date a non-domestic property becomes empty or the date Land & Property Services has determined a completion day. After the three month period, rates will be billed at 50% of the normal occupied amount.