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Empty property relief

Non-domestic rates empty property relief

From 1 April 2023 Empty Property Relief is no longer a mandatory relief and local authorities are required to set their own policies for offering discretionary relief to empty properties within their respective boundaries.

South Ayrshire Council have agreed to retain reductions at the same level as the statutory provisions that were in place up to 31 March 2023.

The reductions available for empty premises will continue as follows:

With effect from 1 April 2016:

  • we can grant 50% relief of rates for a maximum of three months to business properties which are empty
  • when properties remain empty longer than three months, 90% of the property charge is billed
  • if a property is unoccupied from 1 April 2016 and is an Industrial Building with no retail element, we can grant 100% relief for a maximum of six months
  • when the properties remain empty longer than six months a 90% charge is then billed

Certain categories may be exempt from the 90% property charge. These include properties:

  • which are listed buildings or have a preservation order
  • with a rateable value of less than £1.7k
  • where the person entitled to possession is a trustee for sequestration, liquidation or executors
  • where the company has been wound up under the Insolvency Act
  • prohibited by law from occupation
  • which are under compulsory purchase
  • that do not comprise of any building or part-building
  • where there are no buildings on the land and no commercial shooting or stalking takes place

How to Apply

Part of a property is not being used and is completely unoccupied for a short time

As short term empty property relief is granted at the discretion of the Council, each Council may have a different policy in place. South Ayrshire Council policy is to award this relief to former industrial premises only, where the value of the unoccupied part is greater than 5% of the total rateable value, and for a maximum period of 3 months per financial year. Download a partly unoccupied property  Partly empty application form (Word doc) [42KB] .