Business Rates reductions
Unoccupied property rating
Empty properties such as shops and offices receive a 3 month exemption before the full rates become chargeable again. Empty industrial properties such as factories or warehouses receive an exemption from rates for 6 months before the full rates become due.
An empty property held by a charity and appears likely to be next used for charitable purposes, or that is held by a community amateur sports club and appears likely to be next used for the purposes of the club, has a zero rating liability.
Other properties that are exempt are where:
- the building is listed
- occupation is prohibited by law
- the rateable value is less than £2,600
- the person entitled to possession is a personal representative of a deceased person
- the owner is a company subject to a winding up order, or a company in liquidation
- the owner is a company in administration
Empty Property – New Builds
Any properties built and completed that remain vacant will receive an exemption for the 1st 18 months for properties completed between the 1 October 2013 and 30 September 2016.
Please contact Business Rates Section for further details
Re-Occupation of Retail Property
The Government is also giving funding to local authorities so that they can provide a 50% discount for 18 months for those businesses that move into retail premises that have been empty for a year or more. This is available for businesses which move into empty properties between 1st April 2014 and 31st March 2016.
This relief is governed by regulations on state aid de minimus levels. To have this relief awarded you need to complete a declaration on state aid de minimus levels
If you consider you may be entitled to this relief please immediately contact Business Rates Section
Retail Rate Relief.
A discount of £1000 is available for the financial year 2014/15 and £1500 for the financial year 2015/16. The discount is available to retail properties i.e. shops, pubs and restaurants etc., with a rateable value of up to £50000. This relief is also available to ratepayers claiming Small Business Rate Relief and Charitable relief. The list showing what properties are eligible for this scheme can be found in the Council’s Retail rate relief policy. This relief is governed by regulations on state aid de minimus levels. To have this relief awarded you need to complete a declaration on state aid de minimus levels – Retail relief application form and declaration
This relief is for a fixed period only and due to end on 31st March 2016.
Please contact Business Rates Section for further details
Small business rate relief
For more information on small business rate relief go to the Business Link website.
Small Business Rates Relief is an allowance given by the Government to assist small business with their business rate liability. You must apply to the Council if you are eligible for this relief, if you have not already done so. If you were getting Small Business Rates Relief for previous financial years (and are still eligible), your relief will be awarded automatically: you do not need to fill out another form. To qualify, one of the following conditions must apply:
- You must be occupying only one business property in England, and that property’s rateable value must be below £12,000;
- If you occupy more than one business property, one of them will still be able to get the relief, provided each of the other properties has a rateable value of less than £2,599, and all the rateable values added together come to less than £18,000.(However the Government has introduced additional support to small businesses. For those businesses that take on an additional property which would normally have meant the loss of small business rate relief, the Government has confirmed that they will be allowed to keep that relief for a period of 12 months).
Eligible properties with a rateable value of £6,000 or below will get 50% rate relief; this is then decreased at a rate of roughly 1% for every £120 of rateable value above £6,000, up to a rateable value of £12,000. All properties with rateable values between £12,001 and £17,999 will not receive relief, but their bills will be calculated using the lower small business rate relief multiplier.
For a period 1 October 2010 and 31 March 2017, the Government has temporarily increased the level of Small Business Rates Relief: eligible ratepayers will pay no rates on properties with rateable values up to £6,000; relief is then tapered between 100 percent and 0 percent for properties with rateable values between £6,001 and £12,000.
If circumstances change, meaning you are no longer eligible, the relief will stop from the date of this change. Under Law, you must notify the Council of any changes which may affect your entitlement, such as occupying another property, within 4 weeks. Failure to do this may result in you losing relief.
You will not be eligible for small business rate relief if you already receive one of the following:
- Mandatory rate relief as a charity
- Rate relief as a village shop, post office, or other business in a rural settlement
- Unoccupied rate relief
Information on the latest news can be found on the Communities and Local Government website.
Download the application form for small business rates relief:
Charitable and discretionary relief
Charities, including registered Community Amateur Sports Clubs are entitled to relief from rates on any non-domestic property that is wholly or mainly used for charitable purposes. Relief is given at 80% of the bill. Local councils have discretion to give further relief on the remaining bill.
Authorities also have discretion to give relief on all or part of any rates bill for property occupied by certain non-profit making bodies.
The present guidelines for awarding discretionary relief are as follows:The present guidelines for awarding discretionary relief are as follows:
- Where a charity is in receipt of 80% charitable relief the Council will not award a further 20% discretionary relief (except in the cases of properties occupied by local Scouts and Guides organizations, village halls which provide a Post Office facility and hospices within the district)
- The Council will give 80% Discretionary Relief up to a maximum rateable value of £9,000 in approved cases. In order to qualify the organization should not be established or conducted for profit and, in the case of a Sports or Leisure Club should provide facilities to the public with an emphasis on a Youth policy and activities which might otherwise be provided by the Council
The Council can also consider giving rate relief in cases of hardship or where part of a property is beyond use for a certain period.
Download the application form for business rate discount for charities and similar organisations:
Rate relief for businesses in rural areas
Certain types of business in rural villages, with a population below 3,000 may qualify for rate relief of 50%. Businesses that qualify for this relief are the sole general store, sole post office or food shop in the village, provided it has a rateable value of up to £8,500 and the sole pub and the sole petrol station in the village provided it has a rateable value of up to £12,000. Local councils have discretion to give further relief on the remaining bill on such property.
The local council may decide to give up to 100% relief to any other business in such a rural village, with a rateable value of up to £16,500, if it is satisfied that the business is of benefit to the community and having regard to the interests of its council tax payers.
Download the application form for village shop rate relief: