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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.

Up until 31 March 2016, all unoccupied property was, for an initial three months period, due 100% relief on the rates liability that would have arisen were the property occupied, and thereafter liable to pay 90% (the empty rate was 50% prior to 1 April 2013).

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.

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