Non-domestic rates empty property relief

From 1 April 2016: unoccupied industrial property may be due 100% rates relief for an initial six months period, although thereafter have to pay 90% of the rates liability that would have arisen were the property occupied; unoccupied non-industrial property may be due 50% relief for an initial three months period, but thereafter have to pay 90% of the rates liability that would have arisen were the property occupied. However some properties e.g. listed buildings; occupation prohibited by law; property with a rateable values of less than £1,700; are exempt from the 90% empty property rate levy and do not have to pay non-domestic rates at all. All unoccupied properties, other than those that are exempt, are due a maximum of 10% relief after the initial 3 or 6 month period, paying an empty property rate of 90% of the gross rates charge.

From 1 April 2020 and for the purpose of determining eligibility, a property is treated as if it had been unoccupied during any period of occupation that ended within six months of when it started. This will only affect properties that reach the relevant reset period after 1 April 2020. Previously the relevant period was 6 weeks (42 days), however, the “re-set” period has been amended to 6 months.

Businesses that occupy a property, but only trading on a seasonal basis at certain times of the year, would not qualify for empty property relief.

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 application form.