Topical News

Empty Rates Mitigation

England and Wales

100% business rates are due on commercial (office and retail) 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 £2,9…

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Small Business Rate Relief


Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR) is available for ratepayers who occupy either -

(a) One property, or

(b) One main property and other additional properties providing those additional properties each have a rateable value which does not exceed £2,899.

The rateable value of the prop…

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Retail/Hospitality Premises Discount


  • Certain premises used for the sale of goods, food or drink or the provision of services to visiting members of the public with a rateable value of less than £51,000 can secure a discount, subject to state aid limits. There are a number of ineligible types of businesses where retail reli…
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Temporary reoccupation relief

In England, the government introduced a temporary reoccupation relief, granting a 50% discount from business rates for new occupants of previously empty retail premises for 18 months, to help reduce the number of boarded up shops on high streets. The relief will be granted to businesses moving into…

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Business Rate Supplements

The Business Rate Supplements Act 2009 enables levying authorities – county councils, unitary district councils and, in London, the Greater London Authority - to levy a supplement (subject to a ballot) on the business rate to support additional projects aimed at economic development of the area.

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The Localism Act 2011 introduced a new power for local authorities to be able to grant discounts on business rates as they think fit provided that they are funded locally. Previously, councils could grant discretionary relief only in specified circumstances, for example in individual cases of hards…

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2017 rating revaluation and rating appeals

For the 2017 Rating List new rateable values for commercial property came into effect on 1 April 2017 in England, Scotland and Wales, as part of a five year cycle which effectively allows the Government to adjust rateable values in line with changes in the commercial markets. It was previously sche…

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Collection and enforcement - recent cases involving empty rates

The Cases

  • R (Makro Properties Ltd) v Nuneaton and Bedworth BC (2012) EWHC 2250 (Admin)
  • Sunderland City Council v Stirling Investment Properties LLP (2013) EWHC 1413 (Admin)
  • Kenya Aid Programme v Sheffield City Council (2013) EWHC 54 (Admin)
  • Public Safe…
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Tax setting and billing

Newly constructed buildings

Recent case law has confirmed that the completion notice procedure is the only way of entering a building which is not in fact ready for occupation into a rating list; even if the building is very nearly ready to be occupied, without a completion notice it will never be able to enter the list until…

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Telecom Fibre Optics - The Government will provide a new 100% business rates relief for new full-fibre infrastructure for a five year period from 1 April 2017 to support the rollout of new full-fibre broadband infrastructure and future 5G communications to homes and businesses.

Public lavatories …

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Business Rates Review


The government is conducting a wide-ranging review of business rates in response to concerns from many business ratepayers that business rates are in need of reform to make them fit for purpose in a 21st century economy. In the 2016 Budget the government announced it will also modernise t…

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Transitional Arrangements

A new five year transitional scheme was introduced in England from 1 April 2017 which limits year on year increases and decreases following the revaluation.

The percentage limits are prescribed below:

Maximum percentage increases

Property Size*



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Support for pubs

In the 2017 budget the Government announced a new relief scheme for pubs that have a rateable value below £100,000. Under the scheme, eligible pubs will receive a £1000 discount on their bill subject to state aid limits.

As part of the COVID-19 assistance, 100% relief has been granted to pubs for…

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High Street Rate Relief - Wales

The high street rates relief scheme will provide support of up to £1,500 on the non-domestic rates bill for eligible businesses affected by the revaluation with a rateable value of up to £50,000 in 2017-18.
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Scottish Hospitality Sector

From 1 April 2017 those businesses in the hospitality sector who, as a result of the revaluation, are facing steep increases, will see those increases capped at 12.5%. The types of business that will qualify will include hotels, pubs, restaurants, cafes and other accommodation subject to state aid …

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Discretionary Relief Scheme

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COVID-19 Relief