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 £2,900 in England and £2,600 in Wales.

100% relief is granted on vacant properties which are listed buildings.

In England the large multiplier is applicable to all empty premises with an RV over £2,900.

In Wales from 1st April 2021 the 42 day reset period required to trigger an additional empty period of empty property rate relief increases to six months. In addition, the zero rating on empty properties which when next in use for charitable purposes will be removed.

 

Scotland

From 1st April 2020 the 42 day reset period required to trigger an additional empty period of empty property rate relief increases to six months.

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.

Under the Fresh Start scheme, businesses occupying certain long-term empty properties may be entitled to a 100% business rates discount for their year in those premises.

You may be eligible if:

  • You started occupying the property on or after 1 April 2018 and the property had previously been empty for at least six months
  • The property has a rateable value under £65,000

Business rates do not have to be paid on new builds until they’re occupied. New occupiers will then qualify for business growth accelerator relief for 12 months.

 

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 are billed at 50% of the normal occupied amount.